Back to Homepage

Todd Holden

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Sociology
Associate in Research, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
Ph.D., The Maxwell School of Public Affairs and Citizenship, Syracuse University, 1988
B.A., University of California at Irvine, 1980
Office: Morison Hall 106 | 781.891._2469 |
Department Phone: 781.891._2056

Expand All
Collapse All


Todd Holden holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Social Science from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. The first tenured foreigner at Tohoku University--one of Japan’s oldest national universities--he has published extensively (17 book chapters, 25 refereed articles, 18 solicited publications) on: semiotics, globalization, gender, advertising, television, identity and sports. This includes the books medi@sia: Global media/tion in and out of context (2006), Globalization, Culture and Inequality in Asia (2003) and Reading Signs: Language, Culture, Society (in Japanese, 2001).

For a decade he penned a column on Japanese popular culture ("ReDotPop") for the ezine PopMatters; a travelblog--also published by PopMatters--was later published as the literary memoir, Peripatetic Postcards (2010).

In a parallel career, Todd coached collegiate men’s and professional women’s basketball in Japan.

Currently an Associate in Research at Harvard University’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, he penned the 2014 novel Mr. Big Maus, as well as the as-yet unpublished 3-11 Trilogy—an interlinked cycle of novels (Tsunami; Escape from Sonoyo; . . . and the world shifted) about Japan’s triple disaster of 2011.

Teaching Interests

Media and Society, Communication Theory, Semiotics, Advertising and Society, TV and Film Studies, Crisis Communication, Political Communication, Popular Cultural Studies, Social Problems, Sports and Society

Research Interests

Japanese culture and society; gender advertising; digital media and societal change; sports globalization; semeiosis

Consulting/Practice Interests

political media; digital communication

Professional Links


Edited Volumes
Holden, T, Scrase, T. J. (Ed.). (2006). medi@sia: Global media/tion in and out of context. Routledge

Scrase, T. J, Holden, T, Baum, S. (Ed.). (2003). Globalization, Culture and Inequality in Asia. Trans Pacific Press

Holden, T, Abe, H. (Ed.). (2001). Reading Signs: Language, Culture, Society . Tohoku University Press