Grant Otsuki

Teaching in 2020


Ph.D. in Anthropology (University of Toronto, 2015)
M.S. in Science and Technology Studies (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2007)
B.Sc. Hons. in Science, Technology, and Society (University of Calgary, 2005)

Research Areas

My research focuses on interactions among science, technology, and culture, and what it means to be human in the information age. My Ph.D. research was a study of science and engineering laboratories in Japan creating wearable technologies, robots, and virtual/augmented reality systems. I looked at how these researchers created their machines to be like humans, and how they re-imagined their own humanness with the machines.

I also work on Japanese media and popular culture, transhumanism in North America, the history of cybernetics in Japan, and ethnicity and science.

Across these areas, I am interested in studying questions related to posthumanism, the ethics and politics of science and technology, the body, translation, and postcoloniality.

Personal Website

Grant Jun Otsuki

Selected Publications


Omura, K., Otsuki, G. J., Satsuka, S., & Morita, A. (Eds.) (2018). The World Multiple The Quotidian Politics of Knowing and Generating Entangled Worlds. Routledge.


Otsuki, G. (2018). Finding the Humanities in STEM: Anthropological Reflections from Working at the Intersection. In J. N. Hawkins, A. Yamada, R. Yamada, & W. J. Jacob (Eds.), New Directions of STEM Research and Learning in the World Ranking Movement: A Comparative Perspective (pp. 65-78). London: Palgrave Macmillan

Under review: Cyborg: Perfume. In Media Keywords. Ed. Shunsuke Nozawa, Patrick Galbraith

Otsuki, G. (2014). Wearable Illusions and Human-Machine Relations in Japan: Translation, Embodiment, Ethics. In G. Mohácsi (Ed.), Ecologies of Care: Innovations through Technologies, Collectives and the Senses. Osaka, Japan: Doctoral Program for Multicultural Innovation, Osaka University.

Khandekar, A., & Jun Otsuki, G. (2011). Remediation and scaling: The making of “Global” identities. In R. Chopra & R. Gajjala (Eds). Global Media, Culture, and Identity: Theory, Cases, and Approaches. (pp. 128-141). Routledge, New York


Otsuki, G. J. (2019). Frame, Game, and Circuit: Truth and the Human in Japanese Human-machine Interface Research. Ethnos. doi:10.1080/00141844.2019.1686047

Otsuki, G. (2017). Hope Springs Exponential: The Figure of the Exponential in North America. Rekishi Jinrui (History and Anthropology), 45, 23-42.

Otsuki, G., & Satsuka, S. (2016). 「比較とは何か?―カナダの多文化主義と日本の共生の翻訳を通して」 (“What is Comparison? Translating Canadian Multiculturalism and Japanese Kyosei.”). Mirai Kyosei Gaku, 3, 151-176.

Otsuki, G. (2013). Augmenting Japan’s Bodies and Futures: The Politics of Human-Technology Encounters in Japanese Idol Pop. M/C Journal, 16(6).

Online Publications

Otsuki, G. (2017). Anthropos beyond the Human. In Playtpus: the CASTAC Blog. Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology & Computing

Public Commentaries

Otsuki, G. (2020). OK computer: to prevent students cheating with AI text-generators, we should bring them into the classroom. The Conversation, January 24

Otsuki, G. (2018). AI and the need to tread carefully. Newsroom, January 3

Selected Conference Papers

2018. Human-Machine Interfacing as Utopian Practice in Japan. American Anthropological Association 117th Annual Meeting: Resistance, Resilience, Adaptation. San Jose, CA.

2017. Finding the Humanities in STEM: Anthropological Reflections from Working at the Intersection. APHERP Research Cluster Meeting: World Ranking Movements and How STEM and Growing Interdisciplinary Collaborations Influence These Rankings. Doshiba University, Kyoto, Japan.

2016. The “I” in Information: The Tangible and Intangible in Japanese Wearable Interface Research. 50th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology. Nanzan University, Nagoya Campus.

2016. Lifeless Humanism: The Reconfiguration of the Human by Technology. Anthropology of Japan in Japan Fall Meeting: Reinvention, Redefinition and Reconfiguration of Japan. University of Tsukuba.

2016. Learning from and with Cybernetics. Tsukuba Global Science Week 2016 (TGSW2016). Tsukuba International Congress Center.

2016. The User-Generated Body: Global and Informatic Idols in Japan. Society for East Asian Anthropology Conference. The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

2016. The Politics of Technological Illusions. Society for Cultural Anthropology Biennial Meeting: Collaboration. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

2015. The Human as Life or as Communication. Tsukuba Global Science Week 2015 (TGSW 2015). University of Tsukuba, Japan.

2015 (with S. Satsuki). What is Comparison? Translating Canadian Multiculturalism and Japanese Kyosei. Japan Studies Association of Canada. 2015 International Conference: Culture, Identity and Citizenship in Japan and Canada. Embassy of Canada to Japan & Chuo University, Tokyo.

2014. Making “Ba” Work Smoothly: “Post-Growth” Discourses at the Intersection of Biology and Information Technology. Japan Studies Association of Canada Conference: Designing Japan: Innovation in a post-growth society. Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

2014. Much in Common, After All: Careful Translations in Japanese Wearable Technology Research. Society for Cultural Anthropology Biennial Meeting 2014: The Ends of Work. Detroit, Michigan.

2014 (with A. Khandekar). Thinking Postcolonially: Lessons for a ‘Global’ STS. International Conference on Global STS: Exploring Transnational Dimensions of Science, Technology, and Society. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

2013. Wearable Illusions and Human-Machine Relations in Japan. 112th American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, Illinois.

2013. Oneness of Human and Robot. I4S 2013 Society for Social Studies of Science. San Diego, California.

2012. On Speculation: Fiction, Finance, and Futurity Seminar. 10th Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association. University of California, San Diego.

2012. Convenience and Virtuality: Making Sense of Emergency in Japan. 2012 Meeting of the Society for Cultural Anthropology: Life and Death: A Conversation. Providence, Rhode Island.

2009 (with A. Khandekar). Remediation, Scaling, and the Making of ‘Global Identities'. 2009 CASCA/AES Conference: Transnational Anthropologies. University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

2006. Biopiracy/Bioprospection, the ETC Group, and Clusters of Discourse. 2006 STS Graduate Students’ Conference. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

Selected Presentations

2018. Swarming is Seeing: Cyborg Blasphemy and Relations of Perception. After Cyborg. Hitotsubashi University Advanced Social Research Workshop 16. Hitotsubashi University

2016. The Human Use of Human Illusions. Animating Life Summer Workshop. Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation- Media Content Research Project and University of Tokyo. University of Tokyo.

2016. Gijutsu, Sakkaku, Ningen [Technology, Illusion, Human]. Anthropology Café Public Lecture Series of the University of Tsukuba. University of Tsukuba.

2016. Human Use of Human Illusions: Sensing Ethics in Human-Machine Interconnection. Graduate Seminar on Advanced Research (Sentan Kadai Kenkyu). Hitotsubashi University.

2014. Multiculturalisms in Canada: Personal and Comparative Perspectives. 2014 University of Toronto-Osaka RESPECT Summer School. University of Toronto.

2011. Hope Springs Exponential: Anticipation, Human-Machine Relations, and Exponential Politics of an Information Society. Ethnography of Science and Technology Seminar, Graduate School of Human Sciences. Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University.

2011. Lightning talks/provocations: Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory VII (University of California Humanities Research Institute). ReWired: Asian/TechnoScience/Area Studies. University of Hawai’i, Manoa.

Teaching in 2020