Anna Skarpelis is a comparative historical sociologist interested in knowledge, science, and state power. Before joining eikones, she was a Weatherhead Scholar and a digital postdoctoral fellow in Japanese Studies, both at Harvard University. She also holds a computational postdoctoral fellowship at the Social Science Research Center in Berlin. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University, where she completed a dissertation on ethnoracial classification practices and citizenship legislation. Drawing on multilingual archival records, “Making the Master Race: Germany, Japan, and the Rise and Fall of Racial States” explores how bureaucrats in Japan, Germany, and their empires bridged the gap between historical understandings of racial science and their own work in applying legislation on the ground between the 1870s and the 1950s.


Her research has been supported by the Japan Foundation, the Honjo Foundation, the Toshiba Foundation, the Max Weber Foundation, and the American Sociological Association and has received best paper awards from the Eastern Sociological Society, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics and the American Sociological Association. While conducting research for her Ph.D., she has held positions at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, the German Institute for Japanese Studies, Waseda University, and the University of Tokyo. Her work has appeared in the journals Qualitative Sociology and the Bulletin of Comparative Labor Relations, as well as in several edited volumes.

She is an elected council member to the American Sociological Association’s Section on Comparative Historical Sociology. A founding member of “Social Sciences for the Real World” at the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, an annual event that seeks to foster collaboration between academics and practitioners on pressing contemporary topics, she is keen on fostering collaborations and exchange between academia and private and public sectors.


Schulungsbrief! Richtlinien für die Bildarbeit in den RuS-Dienststellen. Bundesarchiv Berlin Lichterfelde (Signatur BArch NS 2 / 161)