42 episodes

Kennesaw State University's 30th annual "Year of" Study Program is focused on the rich and complex history of Japan. Throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, the KSU campus will engage in an intensive program of study that includes a weekly lecture series, film series, numerous performances and exhibits, faculty and student learning communities, an international academic conference, a special issue of the Journal of Global Initiatives, and extensive involvement from local Japanese and Japanese-American community groups as well as Japanese partner institutions and organizations abroad.

The aim of the Country Study program is, over the course of a full academic year, to take a wide-ranging look at a specific country or region under study from its earliest history right up to current events. It is our belief that in order to understand and appreciate other countries and cultures, one needs to employ a broad lens and engage the "other" on a myriad of levels. The program allow faculty and student participants, and community guests to break down stereotypes and connect across cultures. The Year of Country Study program uses a multidisciplinary approach in order to provide our audiences with richer, more complex sense of place and community.

Year of Japan Lecture Series (2013-2014) Kennesaw State University

    • Education

Kennesaw State University's 30th annual "Year of" Study Program is focused on the rich and complex history of Japan. Throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, the KSU campus will engage in an intensive program of study that includes a weekly lecture series, film series, numerous performances and exhibits, faculty and student learning communities, an international academic conference, a special issue of the Journal of Global Initiatives, and extensive involvement from local Japanese and Japanese-American community groups as well as Japanese partner institutions and organizations abroad.

The aim of the Country Study program is, over the course of a full academic year, to take a wide-ranging look at a specific country or region under study from its earliest history right up to current events. It is our belief that in order to understand and appreciate other countries and cultures, one needs to employ a broad lens and engage the "other" on a myriad of levels. The program allow faculty and student participants, and community guests to break down stereotypes and connect across cultures. The Year of Country Study program uses a multidisciplinary approach in order to provide our audiences with richer, more complex sense of place and community.

    • video
    Part One: Geographic Realities of Japan in the 21st Century

    Part One: Geographic Realities of Japan in the 21st Century

    Pradyumna P. Karan, Professor of Geography, University of Kentucky, discusses how Japanese geography shapes Japanese society.
    Earthquake, tsunami and the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl: The triple disasters of March 2011 hit Japan when it was already feeling vulnerable, its confidence shaken by debt, deflation and political inertia. And yet, those terrible days also revealed Japan’s strengths, most notably the sense of community that created order and dignity amidst the rubble. The lecture will highlight geographic realities of contemporary Japan. Within the context of geography, it will discuss the environmental, socioeconomic and political challenges facing Japan today, and how Japan is responding to these challenges.

    P. P. Karan is University Research Professor of Geography and Japan Studies and Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky. He has held professorships at distinguished universities in the United States, Canada, Japan, Asia and Europe. He has authored and edited several books on Japan including The Japanese City (1997), The Japanese Landscapes (1998), Japan in the Bluegrass (2001), Japan in the 21st Century (2005), and Local Environmental Movements: A Comparative Study of Japan and the United States (2008). His current research in Japan involves geographic analysis of recovery and reconstruction efforts following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of March 2011 in Tohoku region.

    • 29 min
    • video
    Part Two: Geographic Realities of Japan in the 21st Century

    Part Two: Geographic Realities of Japan in the 21st Century

    Pradyumna P. Karan, Professor of Geography, University of Kentucky, discusses how Japanese geography shapes Japanese society.
    Earthquake, tsunami and the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl: The triple disasters of March 2011 hit Japan when it was already feeling vulnerable, its confidence shaken by debt, deflation and political inertia. And yet, those terrible days also revealed Japan’s strengths, most notably the sense of community that created order and dignity amidst the rubble. The lecture will highlight geographic realities of contemporary Japan. Within the context of geography, it will discuss the environmental, socioeconomic and political challenges facing Japan today, and how Japan is responding to these challenges.

    P. P. Karan is University Research Professor of Geography and Japan Studies and Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky. He has held professorships at distinguished universities in the United States, Canada, Japan, Asia and Europe. He has authored and edited several books on Japan including The Japanese City (1997), The Japanese Landscapes (1998), Japan in the Bluegrass (2001), Japan in the 21st Century (2005), and Local Environmental Movements: A Comparative Study of Japan and the United States (2008). His current research in Japan involves geographic analysis of recovery and reconstruction efforts following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of March 2011 in Tohoku region.

    • 38 min
    • video
    Part One: Japan in World History and the Emergence of Global History in Japan

    Part One: Japan in World History and the Emergence of Global History in Japan

    This lecture explores new approaches to the creation of global history, by introducing several attempts to create world/global history studies by Japanese scholars from non-European Asian perspectives. Such studies of world history in Japan started with comparative histories of economic development and modernization in Eurocentric structures and paradigms in the late 1940s. According to the Digital Library (book reviews) of the Research Institute for World History in Tokyo, Japanese scholars have published more than 20 series of books on world history: one in the 1950s, seven in the 1960s, four in the 1970s, four in the 1980s, nine in the 1990s and two in the 2000s. Most of the contents were merely an assemblage of national histories in chronological order from ancient to contemporary times. However, a few series were published on the strong academic initiatives of world historians in intimate collaboration with prominent academic publishers. Recently, through a unique joint research project in the Kansai area (Kyoto/Osaka), world/global history studies in Japan have tended to shift from comparative history to relational history. Japanese efforts to overcome Eurocentric paradigms may provide a good example to locate the study of global history within the context of non-Eurocentric perspectives.

    • 22 min
    • video
    Part Two: Japan in World History and the Emergence of Global History in Japan

    Part Two: Japan in World History and the Emergence of Global History in Japan

    This lecture explores new approaches to the creation of global history, by introducing several attempts to create world/global history studies by Japanese scholars from non-European Asian perspectives. Such studies of world history in Japan started with comparative histories of economic development and modernization in Eurocentric structures and paradigms in the late 1940s. According to the Digital Library (book reviews) of the Research Institute for World History in Tokyo, Japanese scholars have published more than 20 series of books on world history: one in the 1950s, seven in the 1960s, four in the 1970s, four in the 1980s, nine in the 1990s and two in the 2000s. Most of the contents were merely an assemblage of national histories in chronological order from ancient to contemporary times. However, a few series were published on the strong academic initiatives of world historians in intimate collaboration with prominent academic publishers. Recently, through a unique joint research project in the Kansai area (Kyoto/Osaka), world/global history studies in Japan have tended to shift from comparative history to relational history. Japanese efforts to overcome Eurocentric paradigms may provide a good example to locate the study of global history within the context of non-Eurocentric perspectives.

    • 39 min
    • video
    Part Three: Japan in World History and the Emergence of Global History in Japan

    Part Three: Japan in World History and the Emergence of Global History in Japan

    Abstract: This lecture explores new approaches to the creation of global history, by introducing several attempts to create world/global history studies by Japanese scholars from non-European Asian perspectives. Such studies of world history in Japan started with comparative histories of economic development and modernization in Eurocentric structures and paradigms in the late 1940s. According to the Digital Library (book reviews) of the Research Institute for World History in Tokyo, Japanese scholars have published more than 20 series of books on world history: one in the 1950s, seven in the 1960s, four in the 1970s, four in the 1980s, nine in the 1990s and two in the 2000s. Most of the contents were merely an assemblage of national histories in chronological order from ancient to contemporary times. However, a few series were published on the strong academic initiatives of world historians in intimate collaboration with prominent academic publishers. Recently, through a unique joint research project in the Kansai area (Kyoto/Osaka), world/global history studies in Japan have tended to shift from comparative history to relational history. Japanese efforts to overcome Eurocentric paradigms may provide a good example to locate the study of global history within the context of non-Eurocentric perspectives.

    • 24 min
    • video
    N.Y.K. Bombay Line, Osaka and International Economic Order of Asia

    N.Y.K. Bombay Line, Osaka and International Economic Order of Asia

    This lecture aims at revealing the connection between the rise of Indian economic nationalism in British India and the formation of international economic order of Asia at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, mainly focusing on the activities and views of prominent early Indian nationalists of moderate factions, like Dadabhai Naoroji, and the economic activities of Indian merchants to accelerate Indian overseas trade. I interpret the activities of early Indian nationalists as ‘collaborators’ to the British Raj. The presence of ‘collaborators’ was essential for British rule in India, especially at the end of the 19th century, when the rising tide of Indian economic nationalism emerged. This paper tries to create a kind of global history from Asian perspectives, by using relational history approach. It also analyzes the interaction between the British Raj and the Indian economic nationalists from new perspectives of ‘collaboration’ and ‘autonomy’.
    The main actors of ‘collaboration’ are a prominent Indian merchant in Bombay, the Tata family, and the largest Japanese shipping company in Meiji-period, the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (N.Y.K.) for the export of Indian raw cotton to Japan and China. The development of business activities of N.Y.K. was closely related to Japanese industrialization, centered round Osaka (Kansai) area in the late nineteenth century.

    Biographical Statement: Dr. Shigeru AKITA is Professor of British Imperial History and Global History at Osaka University, Japan. His many publications include The British Empire and the International Order of Asia (in Japanese, Nagoya University Press, 2003), and The International Order of Asia in the 1930s and 1950s (London: Ashgate, 2010, co-edited with Nick White). This year, he was awarded YomiuriYoshino Sakuzo Prize, which recognizes the best book published in Japan in the past year in the fields of politics, economics, and history.

    • 1 hr 20 min

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