Brown Social Science Center, 202
East Asian Studies
International and Global Studies
Women's and Gender Studies
DegreesUniversity of Chicago, Ph.D.
University of Chicago, M.A.
Sarah Lawrence College, B.A.
ExpertiseReligion. Psychoanalytic theory. Memory and trauma. Anthropology of the body. Commodification. East Asia. Japan.
ProfileEllen Schattschneider is a sociocultural anthropologist and Associate Professor at Brandeis University, specializing in psychoanalytic, phenomenological and practice approaches to culture. She has strong ethnographic interests in East Asia, especially Japan. She received undergraduate training in philosophy, psychology and anthropology at Sarah Lawrence College, and graduate training in anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her principal ethnographic work has been conducted in the Tsugaru region of northern Tohoku, Japan (1991-92, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003-04, 2013-present).
Dr. Schattschneider's academic writings give particular attention to ritual performance, gender and embodiment, spirit mediumship, sacred landscapes, visuality and the power of images, popular religious experience and comparative capitalist cultures. Her book, Immortal Wishes: Labor and Transcendence on a Japanese Sacred Mountain (Duke University Press, 2003) explores healing, self-fashioning and embodied psychodynamic processes on a sacred landscape associated with a Shinto shrine founded by a rural Japanese woman in the 1920s.
She is concluding a book-length research project which examines contemporary Japanese practices of spirit marriage and doll dedication, with close attention to traumatic popular memories of World War II and its legacies. Dr. Schattschneider has also begun two new research projects: the first focuses on Japanese and Okinawan pilgrimages to Micronesia, especially Saipan and Tinian, to memorialize civilian war-time casualties; the second project explores the aftermath of the 3/11 “triple disaster” (earthquake, tsunami, radiation) in Northern Japan.
Her recent awards and distinctions include an award from the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Committee on Research and Teaching (CORST) for the best academic paper employing psychoanalytic theory (2010), a Fulbright fellowship for research in Japan (2003-04), a Senior Fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for the Study of World Religions (2002-03), and research funding from the Social Sciences Research Council and the Northeast Asia Council of the Asian Studies Association, and receipt of the Silberger Fellowship at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.
Dr. Schattschneider is deeply committed to interdisciplinary conversations among those working in anthropology, religious studies, psychoanalytic studies and the arts. Before becoming an anthropologist, she worked as a textile artist and designer, organizing indigenous textile cooperatives in the northern Philippines, studying kimono weaving in Kyoto, Japan, at the Kawashima Textile School and curating textile arts exhibitions in North America and in the Philippines. Webpage
|ANTH||80a||Anthropology of Religion|
|ANTH||105a||Myth and Ritual|
|ANTH||130b||Visuality and Culture|
|ANTH||144a||The Anthropology of Gender|
|ANTH||154a||Culture and Mental Illness|
|ANTH||159a||Museums and Public Memory|
|ANTH||179b||Women and War|
|ANTH||180b||Playing Human: Persons, Objects, Imagination|
|ANTH||201a||History of Anthropological Thought|
|WMGS||198a||Women's and Gender Studies Research Seminar|
Awards and Honors
Brandeis University Senior Faculty Research Fellowship (Spring 2014) (2013)
Mandel Center for the Humanities, Interdicsiplinary Teaching Award, for team taught courses (with Prof. Drick Roosevelt) (2011)
CORST Prize (Committee on Research, Scholarship and Teaching, American Psychoanalytic Association) (2010)
Slberger Fellow, Boston Psychonalytic Society and Institute (2008)
Fulbright Research Fellowship in Japan, 2003-2004 (2003 - 2004)
Mazer Grant. Brandeis University (2003)
Northeast Asia Council (Association of Asian Studies). Small grant for research in Japan (2003)
Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, 2002-2003 (2002)
Social Science Research Council, Advanced Research Grant for Research in Japan (2002)
Schattschneider, Ellen. ""Clocks for Seeing”: Photographic Registrations of the Visible Invisible in Modern Japan." Presented in the Panel “Regimes of Invisibility”, American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. 11/18/12.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Adopting the Fetish: War Memory and Uncanny Kinship in Modern Japan.” The Religion and Culture Forum, University of Chicago Divinity School (April)." (2013)
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Funeral Games: Mimesis and Memorialization in the Arts of 3.11." Presented at the panel, “Art and 3.11 Memorialization”, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. 7/1/13.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Narrating the Nuclear (invited discussant)." American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL. 11/17/13.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "“The deep crack in their hearts”: Destruction and Return in the Aftermath of the 3/11 Tsunami." Presented in the Panel “Uncanny Returns”, American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL. 11/16/13.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Adopting the Fetish: War Memory and Uncanny Kinship in Modern Japan.." Invited Lecture, Department of Anthropology, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA. February 2012.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Burying the Enemy:Transposition and Alterity in the 'War Without Mercy'." American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (November 2011).
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Review of Bethel: Community Schizophrenia in Northern Japan.." General Anthropology Volume 19. #1 (2012).
Schattschneider, Ellen. "The Fetish Goes to War: Disavowal and the Family Romance in Modern Japan." CORST Prize Lecture (Committee on Research, Scholarship and Teaching, American Psychoanalytic Association), Waldorf Astoria, New York City. January 13, 2011.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "'Ambassadors with Terrible Faces': Sacrificing Alternate Selfhoods in 1943 Japan.." Invited Lecture, Vanderbilt University, Asian Studies Lecture Series. November 4, 2010.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Re-circulating Traumatic Authenticity: Fetishism and Transitional Phenomena in Japanese World War Two Reenactments." Presented in the panel Circulation and Reenactment: Mimesis in the Play of History. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans. (November 19).
Schattschneider, Ellen. "“Giving Birth to the Dead:" Fetishism and Transitional Phenomena in an Okinawan Memorial Rite” Presented in the panel, “Cultural Imaginaries: Fantasy in Culture,”." American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting,. Philadelphia, PA. November 2009.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "“The Fetish Goes to War: Disavowal and the Family Romance in Modern Japan.”." Invited Lecture, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. November 14, 2009.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Memory Work in the Shadow of the A-Bomb: Transitional Objects and Circuits of Trauma.." Department of Anthropology Invited Seminar, Mt. Holyoke College. March 12.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Memory Work in the Shadow of the A-Bomb: Transitional Objects and Circuits of Trauma.." Bi-annual meeting of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, Asilomar, CA. May 28.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "The Anthropology of Exile, Displacement and Dislocation: Notes on Alienation and Transitional Phenomena (Co-authored with Mark Auslander)." Society for Biblical Literature annual conference: Warfare in Ancient Israel section, Boston, MA. November 25.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "The Work of Sacrifice in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: The Enigma of Fascist Aesthetics at Yasukuni Shrine." The Culture of Japanese Fascism. Ed. Tansman, Alan. Duke University Press, 2009
Schattschneider, Ellen. "“The Work of Sacrifice in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: The Enigma of Fascist Aesthetics at Yasukuni Shrine.” In The Culture of Japanese Fascism, edited by Alan Tansman. (Duke University Press)." 2009 ed., 2009
Schattschneider, Ellen. "The Bloodstained Doll: Violence and the Gift in Wartime Japan." The Journal of Japanese Studies Summer (2005).
Schattschneider, Ellen. "“The Enigma of Fascist Aesthetics at Yasukuni Shrine.” [in Japanese] in Gendai Shiso (Journal of Contemporary Thought) August." (2005).
Studying the Anthropology of Women and Religion in Japan. Schattschneider, Ellen. Japan News - Online Publication, 2004.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Book Review of Helen Hardacre: "Religion and Society in Nineteenth-Century Japan"." Journal of Asian Studies 63. 4 (2004): 1134-6.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Family Resemblaces: Memorial Images and the Face of Kinship." Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 30. 1-2 (2004).
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Response to: Masamichi S. Inoue. "We Are Okinawans but of a Different Kind: New/Old Social Movements and the U.S. Military in Okinawa"." Current Anthropology 45. 1 (2004): 99-101.
Virtual exhibition on Akakura Mountain Shrine. Schattschneider, Ellen. On Line Publication, 2003.
Schattschneider, Ellen. Immortal Wishes: Labor and Transcendence on a Japanese Sacred Mountain.. Duke University Press, 2003.
Schattschneider, Ellen. "Buy me a bride: Death and exchange in northern Japanese bride doll marriage." American Ethnologist 28. 4 (2001).