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Mark Bookman, Chair for Equity and Access

  • Ph.D. Candidate, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences

  • B.A., Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Villanova University


As Chair for Equity and Access, Mark oversees the appointment of liaisons to the University Council and Committees. He works to maintain transparency in that process, and has done so by disseminating information about the various administrative bodies central to our campus. Mark is also building a digital interface for exploring access issues at Penn. The interface uses data collection methods commonly deployed by architects, anthropologists, and digital humanities scholars like critical crowdsourcing and user-generated surveys to illustrate numerous features of Penn's accessible landscape. It incorporates different kinds of media including text, pictures, audio, and video to provide a multivalent account of access often overlooked by conventional mapping techniques. Through that interface, Mark has begun to compile a list of access issues and resource centers at Penn, which he intends to publish on the GAPSA website. To generate awareness for his project, Mark will lead a number of campaigns throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Mark received his B.A. from Villanova University in Global Interdisciplinary Studies in 2014 prior to researching Buddhist Philosophy as a Fulbright Fellow in Japan. He received his M.A. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Penn in 2016, where he currently studies the politics of exclusion entailed by standards of accessibility in Japan as a PhD student. When he is not working on his dissertation, “100 Years of Disability in Japan: Politics, Prosthesis, and the Popular Imagination,” Mark collaborates with local advocacy groups and NGO's to create a society of dignity and respect.

Apart from his work, Mark spends his time watching anime, reading manga, and wishing he was back in Japan. He plays piano, frequents coffee shops, and pretends like he has a social life by going out to sing karaoke. He’s a big fan of movies, and is often found on street corners rambling about how awesome dragons are. Don’t get him started on anything remotely philosophical, or you’ll never get him to shut up. Otherwise, he’s just your average run-of-the-mill cyborg.

 

If you have ideas or suggestions you would like to share about GAPSA Equity and Access, please do not hesitate to contact Mark at gapsa.eachair@gmail.com.

 

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