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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Celia Spoden

Celia Spoden
Social Science, Bioethics
Since September 2021

Profile on ORCID

I am a social scientist and philosopher doing qualitative empirical research on bioethical issues and the social impacts of digital transformation. My main research interests include concepts such as autonomy, quality of life, the self and the other, the Japanese term shakaijin, social participation, body, technology and cyborgs. 

At the DIJ, I am part of the research focus “Digital Transformation – Discourses, Strategies and Processes”. In my project, I analyse how cyber-physical spaces are constructed and what risks and opportunities cybernetic avatars pose or offer for individuals and society in already existing hybrid forms of cyber and physical spaces.

Before joining the DIJ, I worked as a research associate at the Institute for Ethics, History and Philosophy of Medicine at Hannover Medical School (2018-2021) and the Modern Japanese Studies Department of Dusseldorf University (2008-2018) in Germany.

At Dusseldorf University, I worked on Okinawan identity (MA thesis 2008), Living Wills and end-of-life decision-making in Japan (dissertation 2014, book 2015), and dementia and local care (2018). Since my doctoral thesis I have been concerned with the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): As a Canon Foundation Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Hitotsubashi University, I conducted field research on social participation opportunities for people with ALS from 2016-2017. At Hannover Medical School, I worked on a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research on the preferences and needs of patients who have ALS concerning life-sustaining treatments and options of hastening death (2018-2021).   

Current DIJ Projects

Living and Dying with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): Options of Social Participation, Life-Sustaining Treatments, and Euthanasia in Germany and Japan

Cyber-physical spaces and avatar technologies: new opportunities for an inclusive society?

Recent Publications

Spoden, Celia & Ema, Arisa (2024). "Staying Connected: Implementing Avatar Robots at Schools in Germany and Japan". Digital Health, section Digital Mental Health, Volume 6 - 2024. LINK
Spoden, Celia (2024). Introduction to Session II: Sociocultural Practices on Situating the Self and the Other: Robots with Heart, Virtual Humans and Matter with Soul. LINK