Shunsuke Nozawa




Associate Professor

Research Keywords

Ethnography of communication, semiotics of culture, politics of language, popular culture, popular history, voice, contact, linguistic anthropology


Ph.D in Anthropology, University of Chicago
MA in Anthropology, University of Chicago
BA in Anthropology and Linguistics, New York University


As a linguistic anthropologist and cultural semiotician, I am broadly interested in the meaning of communication and sociality: how ideas and assumptions about language, media, interaction, voice, and so forth, shape everyday habits, institutional practices, and political processes. Currently, I am building a project, tentatively titled “On Social Contact,” which examines metacommunicative struggles over how to define, control, and discipline (im)proper human contact, as these struggles unfold in diverse moments of our contemporary social life, ranging from harassment to social distancing, from solo karaoke to solitary death. In another line of research I hope to continue with my ethnographic work on voice and the labor of characterization in contemporary Japanese popular culture.

I teach classes on diverse topics, ranging from popular culture to politics of language, from anthropology of Japan to academic writing and methods. My classes are mostly discussion-based, and I am looking forward to working with students to create meaningful leaning experience together.

Classes Taught on MJSP

Japanese Popular Culture; Introduction to Japanese Studies II (Culture); Diversity in Language; Marginal Texts; Academic Writing in Japanese.

Selected Publications


Other Websites

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