Events and Activities
Celia Spoden to discuss avatar robots in schools in Germany
Avatar robots designed for children unable to attend school due to injury, illness, or disability have been increasingly adopted in Europe and Japan in recent years. The online event Staying Connected: Implementing Avatar Robots at Schools in Norway, Denmark, Germany, and Japan will show cases of avatar robots being introduced into educational environments in European countries and Japan, accompanied by discussions about their challenges and potential opportunities. It features presentations by Arisa Ema (University of Tokyo), Sofie Sejer Skoubo (Aarhus University), Marit Haldar, Maja Nordtug (both Oslo Metropolitan University), and DIJ’s Celia Spoden. The event is hosted by the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI) and takes place on Tuesday, 26 September 2023. Details and registration here
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our understanding of space. However, the world of reading, an activity traditionally seen as a purely cognitive act that allows readers to leave their physical bodies behind, appeared to remain relatively unaffected by these spatial constraints. This interdisciplinary presentation will closely examine poetic works like Saihate Tahi’s site-specific installation Shi no kasoku / shi no teishi (2020), Fuzuki Yumi’s sound installation Koe no genba (2021), and the online exhibition Kakuri-shiki nōkōsesshoku-shitsu (2020) by Mizusawa Nao and media artist Fuse Rintarō to explore space, proximity, and the act of reading within the context of poetry installations. The presentation will suggest that their works create poetic spaces that serve as a poignant reminder of the readers‘ own physicality. As a result, readers become more aware to the spaces that surround them and the far-reaching effects of COVID-19 on these settings. Details and registration here
Sarah Pützer, University of Oxford/DIJ Tokyo
Please note: This event has been rescheduled. Its new date is Thursday, 5 October.
In February 2022, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz proclaimed a Zeitenwende (“epochal shift”) denoting a shift away from close economic ties with Russia and announcing a massive investment in Germany’s defense capabilities. These measures were meant to meet the economic and political challenges faced by a country that had previously relied on pacifist politics. Drawing on a historical perspective of Germany’s “long remilitarization” from the Korean War to the Armed Forces’ missions in Afghanistan and Mali, this talk will evaluate what the Zeitenwende means for Germany’s present and future with a particular focus on security policy. Professor Tokuchi will comment on Professor Leggewie’s presentation providing a Japanese view on the changing global security landscape. After the presentations, the discussion will be opened to the floor. The event will be followed by a networking reception. Details and registration here
Claus Leggewie, Giessen University
Hideshi Tokuchi, Research Institute for Peace and Security
Japan-Stipendien für Promovierende
Für das Jahr 2024 vergibt das DIJ wieder attraktive Stipendien zur Förderung von Forschungsaufenthalten in Japan im Rahmen von Promotionsvorhaben. Die Stipendien sind mit zurzeit 2400 Euro/Monat dotiert und werden für die Dauer von drei bis maximal zwölf Monaten vergeben. Gefördert werden Forschungsaufenthalte, deren Beginn in den Zeitraum zwischen 1. Februar und 1. Dezember 2024 fällt. Über die Voraussetzungen sowie das Bewerbungsverfahren informiert unsere Stipendienordnung. Bewerbungsschluss für diese Ausschreibung ist der 20. Oktober 2023.
Open access journal article by David Malitz examines Thai nationalisms
“A Long-Term View of Thai Nationalisms: From Royal to Civic Nationalism?” by David M. Malitz is now available as an open access article (Asien, No. 164/165, July/October 2022). Rejecting a linear evolution of Thai nationalist ideas, it traces the development of very different political imaginations of a Siamese/Thai political community from the early nineteenth century through the student protests of 2020/2021. It does not consider, therefore, these recent demands for reform of the country’s monarchy to represent a radical rupture with established Thai political culture. Rather, the student protests constitute a new iteration of a long-standing trend of contesting official nationalisms in the country. This is evident in the students’ own symbolic embracing of the history of the Siamese Revolution of 1932. For analytical purposes, the article employs a twofold approach: it differentiates between inclusive and exclusive imaginations of the national community on the one hand and between its democratic versus autocratic political organization on the other.
New book publication ‘Research into Japanese Society’ co-edited by Sebastian Polak-Rottmann
The new publication Research into Japanese society: Reflections from three projects involving students as researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic (University of Vienna 2023), co-edited by Antonia Miserka and DIJ’s Sebastian Polak-Rottmann, collects three group projects from Sophia University, the University of Vienna and FU Berlin that involve students as researchers at different stages in their academic lives. In all three cases, students actively participated in gathering data for a group project and reflected on their experiences. The volume shows that students, rather than being mere receivers of knowledge, may also actively be part of the collaborative production of knowledge. It also demonstrates how research in a team can be conducted, albeit in an adjusted manner, during the ongoing pandemic. The fifteen contributions include a chapter co-authored by Sebastian and DIJ alumnus Hanno Jenztsch (“Rural spaces, remote methods—the virtual Aso Winter Field School 2022”) and a conversation between Sebastian and John W. Traphagan (University of Texas at Austin) on his book Cosmopolitan Rurality, Depopulation, and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in 21st-Century Japan.
The summer issue of our DIJ Newsletter provides up-to-date insights into our research and publication activities, looks back to recent DIJ events, introduces new researchers, and gives updates on our outreach as well as on DIJ alumni activities. We hope you will enjoy exploring this new edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe to receive our Newsletters directly to your inbox. The full issues and subscription form are available here.
New book publication ‘Literature after Fukushima’ co-edited by Barbara Geilhorn
The new publication Literature After Fukushima. From Marginalized Voices to Nuclear Futurity (Routledge 2023), co-edited by Linda Flores and DIJ’s Barbara Geilhorn, examines how aesthetic representation contributes to a critical understanding of the 3.11 triple disaster – the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011. Based on key works from the 3.11 literature, the book explores how the disaster reframed discourses in trauma studies, eco-criticism, regional identity, food safety, civil society, and beyond. Literature after Fukushima is the first English-language book to provide an in-depth analysis of a wide range of representative literature on post-3.11 and its social ramifications. The ten contributors include Barbara Geilhorn (“Between Trauma Processing, Emotional Healing, and Nuclear Criticism— Documentary Theater Responding to the Fukushima Disaster”) and DIJ alumna Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt (“Voice and Voicelessness: Reading Vernaculars in Post-3.11 Literature”). The book is an outcome of Barbara’s research project Arts and Literature after Fukushima. An interview with Barbara on this new publication can be found here (in German)