New JAWS Officers

We are pleased to announce the names of the new JAWS officers, as elected at the extraordinary business meeting on Friday, 5 November.

JAWS Secretary General: Prof Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni

JAWS Treasurer and Membership Secretary: Dr Giulia De Togni

JAWS Internal Auditor: Dr Sonja Ganseforth

Please find below messages from Prof Goldstein-Gidoni and Dr De Togni


JAWS Secretary General, Prof Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni (2021)

My first JAWS meeting was in Copenhagen, I guess it was 1994 as I remember that my elder son with whom I traveled was one year old. Since then I have enjoyed being a member of this vibrant, supportive and creative group of peers and colleagues. Let me introduce myself briefly particularly for the younger members who may not know me. I am teaching at a joint position at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology (Department Chair 2010-2013) and the Department of East Asian Studies at Tel Aviv University. During the almost three decades of teaching I have supervised a few dozens of enthusiastic graduate students both in Japanese Studies and in Anthropology, some of whom by now have become established scholars themselves.
My first ethnographic project in Japan was based on fieldwork at a wedding parlor in Kobe where I worked for two and a half years as a kimono dresser (kitsuke no hito). I wrote my PhD dissertation at SOAS based on this fieldwork, which also formed the basis for my first book titled Packaged Japaneseness, Packaged Brides. Among the many Japan-related research projects that I have conducted since then, I have chosen to relate here only to a few, all of which based on an extended ethnographic research.
My second book Housewives of Japan summarized an extensive study of the history and the lived experiences of Japanese “professional housewives” – a salient category of the status of Japanese women. The book also included a reflexive interrogation of the process of ethnographic fieldwork. In the recent decade or so, I have been involved in the study of the complicated relationship between gender, family and work. Focusing on “working fathers” and househusbands, mainly through the study of groups of men who wish to bring change, such as Fathering Japan and The Secret Society Shufu no Tomo, I have become intrigued by new trends such as the ikumen movement and have been able to observe some slow movement towards change in gender relations in Japan. Finally, although I have been able to stay constantly in contact with Japan throughout this difficult and bizarre period we have been going through since the burst of the pandemic, even to the point that I have to admit that Zoom interviews have been rather productive, I deeply miss Japan and genuinely long for doing real anthropology there.

Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni


JAWS Treasurer and Membership Secretary, Dr Giulia De Togni (2021)

Dr Giulia De Togni is an anthropologist specialising in Japanese Studies and a researcher in Science and Technology Studies (STS) based at the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society (CBSS, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh). Her research focuses on risk, technology, ethics, health, and human rights. She has recently been awarded a 3-year-long Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science by the Wellcome Trust, starting in January 2022, which will focus on the use of socially assistive robotics in Japan and the UK.
Giulia earned her PhD in Anthropology at University College London. Her thesis was based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork with the populations affected by the Fukushima disaster. Drawing on this research, Giulia wrote a research monograph which is being published in the Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese Studies Series in November 2021; and two book chapters for two edited collections that will be published in 2022 in the Routledge Series on Hazards, Disaster Risk and Climate Change. Drawing on her postdoctoral research, Giulia led as first-author three peer-reviewed research papers on AI and robotic technologies in health and social care for: Social Science & Medicine; Engaging Science, Technology, and Society; and AI and Society. Finally, she co-organised two panels for EAJS and 4S and was invited twice to contribute to a stand-up comedy show at the Fringe Festival (Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas 2020/2021).
Giulia has been a JAWS member since 2014. She would be willing to become the new JAWS Membership Secretary and Treasurer. In addition to her doctoral and postdoctoral work involving administrating funding resources and co-organising international events including conferences, panels, seminars, workshops, charity and public engagement events – Giulia has extensive experience working with the non-profit sector including Japanese NPOs. She has been volunteering in recreative camps for Fukushima children since 2013.

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