Kimberly Hassel

Japanese Anthropology
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  • B.A. in Japanese modified with Anthropology from Dartmouth College

Kimberly Hassel (pronouns: she/her/hers) specializes in cultural anthropology and contemporary Japanese society. Her research interests include youth culture, digital culture, digital ethnography, identity formation, gender, and race and ethnicity. Kimberly’s dissertation focuses on the relationship(s) between Social Networking Services (SNS), smartphone ownership, and the (re)figuring of sociality and selfhood in contemporary Japan, particularly among youths. Along with addressing attitudes towards digitally-mediated sociality and subsequent themes of privacy, intimacy, trust, and self-representation, her dissertation also discusses COVID-19 as a turning point that has challenged the perception that digitally-mediated sociality is merely a “supplement” to in-person sociality. Kimberly’s dissertation fieldwork was sponsored by a Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Doctoral Fellowship, which also supported one year as a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Comparative Culture (ICC) at Sophia University.

Kimberly’s research has also centered on diaspora studies and critical mixed race studies. Kimberly’s past ethnographic project examined the ways in which Yokohama’s museums and urban landscape narrate Japanese identity as transnational. Her ongoing project examines media portrayals of mixed race identity in Japan vis-à-vis lived experience.

Kimberly is an alumna of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) and the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT).