Landrum Bolling Center
Monday 11am-12pm; Thursday 10am-11am
Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies
- Japanese Studies
- East Asian Studies
- Environmental Studies
- Ph.D., University of Hawaii at Manoa
- M.A., University of Hawaii at Manoa
- B.A., Utah State University
I teach courses related to Japanese culture and society as well as courses related to environments in Japan and the greater East Asia region. Among the courses I teach are: Introduction to Japanese Studies; Japanese Popular Culture; Japanese Culture and the Environment; and Political Ecologies of East Asia.
Eric Cunningham is a socio-cultural anthropologist who studies the cultural dimensions of sustainability and resource management both as globalized sets of ideas and practices and as practical dilemmas confronting local communities in Japan. His particular focus is on forest ecologies in Japan’s Kiso Valley.
As a cultural anthropologist I study human-environment interactions and the ways in which globalized flows of capital, materials, and ideas influence how people give meaning to and interact with the places they inhabit. My central academic interests revolve around the cultural dimensions of sustainability and resource management both as globalized sets of ideas and practices and as practical dilemmas confronting local communities in Japan.
My primary research looks at forest ecologies in Japan’s Kiso Valley as contested spaces where meanings are produced by local residents, government officials, and other actors who draw upon global networks of materials, ideas, and relationships. I ask how forests in central Japan’s Kiso Valley come into being and are reproduced as cultural objects infused with contentious ideas of nature, nationhood, citizenship, and governance. I also examine the role these conceptual natures play in mediating human-environment interactions and struggles for sustainability.
American Anthropological Association
Association for Asian Studies