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Japan Study's 50th Anniversary Conference to Focus on the Future of East Asian Studies

Published: May 22, 2012

Go to ACM Notes

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Japan Study program is sponsoring a conference that will focus on the future of teaching college students about Japan and its neighbors, China and Korea.

The Future of East Asian Studies at Liberal Arts Colleges conference will gather faculty from member colleges of the ACM and the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) at Earlham College in Richmond, IN on October 5-7, 2012, for interactive sessions on innovations, new initiatives, and changing conditions related to the teaching of East Asian studies.

Participants from ACM and GLCA colleges will receive a subsidy for travel and lodging provided by a grant from the GLCA Endowment for the Study of Japan and the Japan Study program at Earlham College. The $75 conference fee includes conference materials, hotel accommodations for two nights, and three meals.

The Future of East Asian Studies at Liberal Arts Colleges

October 5-7, 2012

Earlham College

"This will be a chance for faculty to discuss new configurations for the study of East Asia, explore opportunities for collaboration, and learn from each other about ways to strengthen our colleges' East Asian studies programs and to infuse the study of East Asia across the curriculum," said Gary DeCoker, Director of Japan Study and Professor of Japanese Studies at Earlham College.

Established by Earlham in 1963, Japan Study is an exchange program linking GLCA and ACM colleges with one of Japan’s most prominent universities, Waseda University in Tokyo. The unique exchange goes both directions, with students and faculty from U.S. colleges going to Waseda and vice versa.

An overall theme of the conference will be to share ideas about strategies that liberal arts colleges can use to make the most of their resources, according to DeCoker. "For example, we will be looking at innovative ways that colleges are configuring their programs – country-specific, culture-specific, or regional," he said. "We're also interested in ways that the colleges can work together to offer things that they might not otherwise be able to offer. Language is the thing that people most often think about, but there are other ways to collaborate, such as faculty development trips."

Japan Study participants at Miyajima

Japan Study participants at Miyajima.

Photo courtesy of Japan Study

"Trying to spread the study of East Asia throughout the curriculum is another way of approaching it," DeCoker noted. "How do you integrate East Asia into the general education curriculum or into other majors so, for example, someone in film studies or psychology would be able to have that as a component of their major."

Conference organizers have issued a call for proposals for faculty presentations, panel and roundtable discussions, and mini-workshops on East Asian curriculum, teaching, faculty development, and other topics. The deadline for proposals is August 15.

Highlights of the conference will include:

  • Keynote Address by OKAMURA Yoshifumi, Consulate General of Japan at Chicago.
  • Plenary Address by Richard Wood, President Emeritus of Earlham College and former President of the Japan Society in New York and chair of the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission.
  • Japanese Koto Performance by the innovative musician and composer Yumi Kurosawa.
  • Presentations, panels, and roundtable discussions by faculty from ACM and GLCA colleges.

Early proposal submission and registration for the conference is encouraged, DeCoker said, with the deadlines of August 15 and September 15, respectively. The $75 conference fee includes conference materials, two night hotel accommodations, and three meals.

The conference is supported by a grant from the GLCA Endowment for the Study of Japan and the Japan Study program at Earlham College, which provides a subsidy for travel and lodging for participants from ACM and GLCA colleges.


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