KANSAI UNIVERSITY
  • Home
  • Contact Us
  • Access
  • Campus Map

Institute for Cultural Interaction Studies, Kansai University

News and Topics

▼2011/08/26 UP
Call for presenters: The 4th International Academic Forum for the Next Generation

We are currently accepting applications for presenters at the 4th International Forum for the Next Generation as described below.
Application Guidelines (PDF)

Overall theme: Discourse and Images in the Modern World: From the Viewpoint of Borderless Cultural Interaction Studies
Date and Time: December 10 (Saturday) – 11 (Sunday), 2011
Place: 4th floor of Ibunkan

The Institute for Cultural Interaction Studies, Kansai University (ICIS) holds the International Forum for the Next Generation, which is mainly planned and operated by young researchers affiliated with ICIS. The purpose of this Forum is to promote exchange and carry out discussions on themes related to cultural interaction in Asia by specialists and exemplary young researchers from inside and outside Japan who will lead the academic world of the next generation. The Forum has been held three times in the past for these purposes. It was proactively attended by researchers from Japan and other countries, and brought about many results that will have beneficial effects in the future.
The 4th International Forum for the Next Generation is searching for motivated researchers who agree to the aims of the Forum and will present the results of their research on the following themes. We are looking forward to your applications.

Aims of the Forum
The 1st Forum, entitled “Cultural Reproduction on its Interface,” focused on interfaces as places of interaction, as well as the cultural contact that takes place there. The point of view for “Aspects of Transformation through Cultural Interaction,” the 2nd Forum, was shifted to the changes brought about as the result of cultural interaction and its background. The 3rd Forum, “Creation as a Milestone in Cultural Interaction,” was held last year. There, discussions took place about creation as a milestone in cultural interaction, using extractions, comparisons, and considerations of the characteristics of the historical world and contemporary society. Common understanding regarding cultural interaction was also deepened through the establishment of such diverse themes and lively discussions.
Based on the above results, the focal point of the 4th Forum will be the crossing of borders by images and discourse in the modern world. The crossing of borders on a global scale became an unavoidable part of the modern world in the realms of people, things, and cultures. These crossings and their accompanying radicalization significantly impacted the societies and individuals concerned, and created a flow of history leading up to the present era. The session themes for this Forum are “Border crossing in iconography,” “Mutual exchange between India and East Asia,” “The reconstruction of world views in literature,” and “Conflict and rivalry among intellectuals.” Each of these themes is about phenomena that developed and grew in size starting in the modern era. These themes will be examined as clues to understand the dynamism of cultural interaction in the modern world.

December 10
Session A
Theme: “Border crossing in iconography: textuality of visual information in discourse with different cultures” (Language: Japanese)
This session will pay attention to visual information and textuality in interactions between different cultures. Unlike abstract written documents, visual information such as icons, maps, and pictures is a type of medium that contains condensed and concrete information portrayed in a figurative way. For that reason, one characteristic feature of visual information is that it can be disseminated in a more open and intuitive fashion than written documents. In particular, the “border-crossing properties” of iconography can be described as the fact that visual information can be shared and understood in places of interaction between different cultures, even in cases when direct exchange through language or written words is impossible. However, even for iconography that has crossed borders, it is unavoidable that new types of awareness, thinking, and prejudices are created and reproduced as the result of contact between different cultures. When investigating the border-crossing properties of iconography, it is necessary to carefully read the stratum of accumulated culture beneath each type of visual expression.
This session will read various types of visual information from spaces of discourse between different cultures as one sort of “text.”

Session B
Theme: “East Asia as reconstructed by literary figures: from a reflective, border-crossing perspective” (Language: Japanese)
Old Chinese systems of order were crushed by violent waves of modernization. In the midst of a tumultuous era, literary figures experienced contact with other cultures through means including war, studying abroad, and travel to foreign countries. As a result, their orientations came to have a dual nature. One facet was reflection, which refers to a keen realization of the limits of one’s own country and ethnic group, as well as explorations to find a way to overcome these limitations. The second facet was border crossing. Through crossing national borders and engaging in various types of activities, these people learned about the diversity of other cultures and attempted to reinterpret the traditional East Asian world view (which had already collapsed). In their works these literary figures broke down traditional and individual images of their own and other countries, aiming to reconstruct a unified sense of an “East Asian” view. This session discusses representative Japanese, Chinese, and Korean literary figures during and after the modern era to analyze their reflective, border-crossing ideologies and examine the expression of East Asian cultural interaction in the literary world.

December 11
Session C
Theme: “The revival of ethnic groups and cultural interaction: new horizons in modern East Asian awareness” (Language: English)
The concept of “new” in this theme encompasses two sides: the region of East Asia from the viewpoint of the revival of ethnic groups and cultural interaction (the title of this session), and examining East Asia from the viewpoint of the influences of Indian culture. Since the establishment of scholarly systems during the modern period, oriental history in Japan – unrelated to research on East Asia undertaken in Europe and the United States (the West) – has not often viewed India as part of the “Orient” or “East Asia.” There was a long tradition of cultural exchange in the East Asian countries (which generally includes China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam), but awareness of East Asian politics and overall culture gradually came to be revived or advocated for in a variety of ways as the influence of Europe and the U.S. grew greater after the beginning of the 20th century. It is impossible to ignore the influence this process had on shrinking the consciousness of Indian culture as part of East Asia or Asia during the modern era. For that reason, this session will consider the situation of modern cultural exchange in India and East Asia (particularly China and Japan) from multiple angles including history, art, and ideologies. The goal of this work will be to create a new consciousness regarding “Asia” and “East Asia.” Furthermore, discussions will be held about the new growth of national and regional consciousness from relations between the countries in this region and the Western world (the European countries and the U.S.).

Session D
Theme: “Conflict and change in the identities of modern intellectuals” (Language: Chinese)
This session discusses a wide variety of intellectuals who experienced different countries in the realms of politics, literature, and education. Depending on the state of their relationship with their country, each of these people had to pursue their own courses in either constrained or open spaces. As they did so, they lived through and observed history including instable eras of war. However, there are many intellectuals who have been buried by history and escaped the notice of researchers. Using the traces of the lives they left behind, it is possible to re-examine the social circumstances that surrounded these people from different angles, as well as by exploring the remains of the identities and troubles experienced by these intellectuals who were bound by society. In this session, particular attention and intense consideration will be given to such intellectuals, particularly those who were involved with both Japan and China in the modern era, which were closely connected in the two realms of confrontation and cooperation.