David McConnell

David McConnell

Professor of Anthropology

Department/Affiliation: East Asian Studies, Sociology and Anthropology
Phone: 330-263-2476
Office Address: 015 Kauke Hall


  • B.A., Earlham 1982
  • M.A., Ph.D., Stanford 1991

Courses Taught

  • ANTH 110: Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH 231: Peoples and Cultures: Amish
  • ANTH 231: Peoples and Cultures: Japan
  • SOAN 201: Education in Sociocultural Context
  • ANTH 231: Contemporary Anthropological Theory

Awards and Professional Memberships

  • Japan's prestigious Ohira Prize by the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Foundation
  • A Spencer Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
  • A Fulbright Grant
  • A Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship
  • A Thomas J. Watson Fellowship


  • "Culture and Politics in the Anthropology of Japan." Reviews in Anthropology 40(4): 265-291, 2011.
  • An Amish Paradox: Diversity and Change in the World's Largest Amish Community (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010)
  • Soft Power Superpowers: National and Cultural Assets in Japan and the United States (M.E. Sharpe, 2008)
  • "No 'Rip Van Winkles' Here: Amish Education Since Wisconsin v. Yoder". Anthropology and Education Quarterly. 37(3): 236-254.
  • Importing Diversity: Inside Japan's JET Program (University of California Press, 2000)


McConnell's research interests center on understanding the dynamics of social and cultural change, including the relation between education and modernity and the reinvention of tradition in rural communities. He has conducted fieldwork in northeastern Japan, in western Kenya, and with the Amish of northeast Ohio. His fields of interest include anthropology and education, the anthropology of development, environmental anthropology, and anthropological theory.


As a member of the faculty since 1992, McConnell is a leading authority on Japanese society, culture, and education, as well as U.S.-Japanese relations. He is also a specialist on Amish society and has done extensive fieldwork in the Holmes County Settlement in Ohio.