Dr. John Branstetter received his PhD from UCLA in fall of 2017. He earned previously bachelor’s degrees in Russian language and political science from Michigan State University in 2004. He then studied in the politics department at the University of Edinburgh, where he earned a MSc. by research for a thesis proposal analyzing changes in the Russian language and the consolidation of presidential legitimacy after the fall of the USSR. During a break from academic work, John taught English as a foreign language in Gifu, Japan, where he began studying Japanese. He returned to academia as a PhD student at Washington State University, studying Political Theory. He received a fellowship from the Political Science Department at WSU to spend the 2010-2011 academic year as a visiting scholar at the Institut d’études politiques de Bordeaux, where he studied French and pursued research on political theory in international relations. After moving to join UCLA’s Ph.D. program in 2011, John received several fellowships from the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies to pursue his work. In 2014, he spent the year at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Study in Yokohama, Japan, where he studied kanbun and modern Japanese. John was a visiting scholar at Tsuda College in Tokyo, Japan in 2016-17. He is currently a lecturer in political science at UCLA.