Pamela L. Runestad, MA, PhD
Pamela L. Runestad, MA, PhD

Pamela L. Runestad, MA, PhD

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences


  • Medical Anthropology, Japan

Academic Appointments


  • Cultural and Social Studies


  • Assistant Professor


Dissertation: Health and Precarity: Living with HIV in Japan


  • Ph.D. University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Anthropology
  • MA University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Anthropology
  • MA University of Sheffield (United Kingdom), Japanese
  • BA Augustana College, Biology and English


Foundations of Effective Online Teaching and Learning Certificate

Publications and Presentations


  • Case Study in Medical Anthropology and global health: Representiving HIV/AIDS at home and abroad." In J. Evert, P. Drain, & T. Hall (eds), Developing health programming: A guide for medical and other professional schools, 2nd Edition. Global Health Collaborations Press., Global Health Collaborations Press, 2014


  • Teaching about Sex, Sexuality, and Gender while minimizing Stereotypes, Journal of International and Advanced Japanese Studies, 8, 265-275, 2016
  • The Medical Anthropologist as the Patient: Developing Research Questions on Hospital Food in Japan through Auto-Ethnography. in AsiaNetwork (Journal), AsiaNetwork, 23(1), 66-82, 2016
  • (in revision) Performing HIV/AIDS: Gendered narratives of HIV Japan. Asia Pacific Perspective., 2016
  • "Japan, we can do it!" Social Networks and Natural Disasters. Chapter in S. Finney, M. Mostafanezhad, G. Pihgliasco, & F. Young (Eds)., At Home and in the field: Ethnographic encounters in Asia and the Pacific Islands." Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press, University of Hawai'i Press, 2015
  • Medical Anthropology Meets Global Health. In J. Evert, P. Drain, & T. Hall (eds), Developing health programming: A guide for medical and other professional schools, 2nd Edition. Global Health Collaborations Press., Global Health Collaborations Press, 2014
  • What people think matters: The relationship between perceptions and epidemiology in the Japanese HIV epidemic., International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 5 (4), 331-344, 2010


  • Creighton University Teaching and Learning Technology Showcase: Faculty Innovations in Technology, 2016
  • Society for Applied Anthropology. Roundtable: Global Health Education as Anthropological Opportunity: An Interdisciplinary Roundtable on Theory, Pedagogy, and Practice. (In preparation for the March 2016 meeting in Vancouver)., 2016
  • American Anthropological Association (AAA). “Problematizing the Strange and the Familiar: “The Penis Festival” at Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. Denver, CO, USA. November 2015, 2015
  • Guest Lecture in ANT 400: What's For Dinner, Honey? class -- Microbes and Biocultural Aspects of Nutirition, 2015
  • AAA. Panel Co-Organizer. Panel: “Medical Anthropologists as Patients: The Roles of Researcher-as-Patient and Embodied Experience in the Production of Ethnography” Presentation: “The Next Project: Developing Research Questions and Interviewee Rapport from the Hospital Bed.” Washington DC, USA. December 2014, 2014
  • American Academy of Religion (AAR). “Destabilizing Us/Them? A Response to Soda Kazuhiro’s film ‘Mental.’” San Diego, CA, USA. November 2014, 2014
  • Associated Colleges of the South. Women’s/Gender Studies Conference. “Participant Observation and Auto-ethnography: ‘Japanese’ food and Maternal Health.” Greenville, SC, USA. April 2014, 2014
  • Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies. “Japanese Food and Healthcare.” Durham, NC, USA. January 2014, 2014
  • AAA Panel Co-Organizer. Panel: “Where Embodied Past, Precarious Present, and Musings on the Future intersect: The Socio-Cultural Lives of Medical Narratives.” Presentation: “Personal HIV/AIDS Narratives As Social Activism in Japan: ‘I’m Right Here!’” Chicago, IL, USA. November 2013, 2013
  • AAA, Panel Organizer. Panel: “Naming Taboo Topics in Japan.” Presentation: “What’s in a name? Articulating HIV/AIDS in Japan.” San Francisco, CA, USA. November 2012, 2012
  • Australian Anthropological Society. “Medical Pluralism as Applied to Medical Anthropologists: Recognizing and Utilizing our own Plurality.” Brisbane, Australia. September 2012, 2012
  • Asia Oceania Congress of Sexology. Invited Speaker: “Talking about HIV/AIDS: The Social Implications for the Words We Use.” Shimane, Japan. August 2012, 2012
  • Asia Studies Conference Japan, Panel Organizer. Panel: “Medical Discourses as Social Discourses: Understanding Japan Through the Lens of Infectious Disease, 1868 to the Present.” Presentation: “Us” and “Them”: Understanding Contemporary Japan through Museum Representations of HIV/AIDS Tokyo, Japan. June 2011, 2011
  • AAA: “Reconsidering Rural and Urban Distinctions in Japan: Current trends in HIV Infection Rates and Treatment.” New Orleans, LA, USA. November 2010, 2010
  • Duke University Triangle Japan Forum: “What People Think Matters: The Relationship between Perceptions and Epidemiology in the Japanese HIV Epidemic.” Durham, NC, USA. October 2010, 2010
  • Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs (MCAA) Panel Organizer. Panel: Politicized Bodies and Gendered Narratives in Modern and Contemporary Japan Presentation: Performing HIV/AIDS: Gendered Narratives of HIV/AIDS in Japan St. Louis, MO, USA. October 2015

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Japan, Food Studies, Global Health

Current Research Projects

  • Primary Investigator: The Taste of Health: Embodying the Global, National, and Local Through Prescription and Consumption of Hospital Foods Co-investigator with Becky Davis: The Influence of Food Acculturation on Refugee Parent Choices of First Foods for their Infants

Awards and Honors

  • Elon University Sustainability Scholar, Elon University, 2014