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Jennifer Robertson

Professor of Anthropology and Art History, University of Michigan

Jennifer Robertson is Professor of Anthropology and the History of Art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has a non-budgeted appointment in the Department of Women's Studies and in the School of Art and Design. She is also a faculty associate in the Anthropology/History Program. Robertson is a former director and member of the Center for Japanese Studies, a faculty member of the Robotics Institute, and a faculty associate in the Science, Society and Technology Program.

Her major fellowships include a Guggenheim; ACLS; NEH; Invited Fellow, Wissenshaftskolleg zu Berlin; Fulbright; Japan Foundation; SSRC; Wenner-Gren; and others.

Robertson is the originator and general editor of Colonialisms, a book series from the University of California Press that explores the historical realities, current significance, and future ramifications of imperialist practices with origins and boundaries outside of "the West."

Her six books and over seventy articles and chapters address a wide spectrum of subjects ranging from the 17th century to the present, including nativist and social rectification movements, agrarianism, sex and gender systems and ideologies, mass and popular culture, nostalgia and internationalization, urbanism, the place of Japan in American Anthropology, sexuality and suicide, theater and performance, votive and folk art, imperialism and colonialism, and eugenics and bioethics.

Robertson is currently writing and editing articles and books on the cultural history of Japanese colonialism; eugenics, bioethics, and ideologies of "blood" in Japan and Israel; Japanese votive art; and humanoid robots and cyberculture in Japan and elsewhere. Her newest book, Robo sapiens japanicus: Robots, Gender, Family, and the Japanese Nation (University of California Press), is forthcoming in Fall 2017.


  • –present
    Professor of Anthropology and Art History, University of Michigan