Akira P. Shah

akira shah web

DPhil Student

St Antony's College

Thesis: Amplifying the Globe: A Digital Ethnography of International Baccalaureate Teacher Training in Japanese Higher Education 

DPhil Research

I am a DPhil Candidate in Anthropology affiliated with the School of Anthropology & Museum Ethnography, and associated with the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies and Department of Education. My doctoral research relates to globalist ideologies, pedagogies, and languages of education, grounded in the recent growth of International Baccalaureate (IB) education in Japan. Focused on IB teacher training programmes at universities, research primarily concerns a digital ethnography of one such Japanese-mediated programme, and of key representatives within the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). Core findings reveal programmes to be amplifying vastly divergent notions and practices of the ‘international’ and ‘global’ despite pressures from globally dominant ‘white’ neo-colonialisms, and locally prevalent nationalisms on defining ‘international’ and ‘global education.’

I have been an Associate Researcher at the Graduate School of Teacher Education, Tokyo Gakugei University since autumn 2020.

Previous Education & Research

I completed a Master of Research (M.Res.) degree in Anthropology at University College London (UCL) in 2019 and a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Japanese Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 2018, both with distinction. M.Res. research concerned a socio-cognitive study over the construction, maintenance, and negotiation of certain racialized and / or culturalized social minority populations in Japanese societies.


I am currently a part-time Analyst for Contemplative Spaces, a consultancy focused on designing and delivering leadership development initiatives for individuals, groups, and organizational bodies. Past careers include work as a freelance performance psychologist for racing drivers across several motor-sporting disciplines in both the UK and Japan, and as a teaching assistant and counselor at a UK-based IB international school. Future career plans include postdoctoral research and establishing consultancy services dedicated to improving various aspects of human cohesion.

akira.shah [at] anthro.ox.ac.uk