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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Nicole Keusch

Japanese Studies and African Studies
(PhD Students, May 1, 2011 - July 31, 2011)
  • International Relations
  • History of science

Ph.D. Project:

“Japanese studies on Africa: Historiography of a research area” (Working title)

Because of their geographical distance and the lack of intense historical interaction, mutual interest between Japan and the African continent is rather superficial. But although Africa is certainly not a main focus of Japanese academic research, African studies in Japan have an interesting and rather special tradition. In my work, I will try to give an overview on the development and current state of Japanese research on Africa.

In order to complement the quantitative survey of African studies in Japan, I will analyse the research undertaken at Japanese institutions and compare the way the Japanese academy deals with the African continent to Western traditions of regional studies. By tracing its historical development, I will try to isolate factors which influence research and seek out their actual relevance in Japan. Based on the focus of Western research on Africa, I currently plan to concentrate on the following aspects:

  1. Historical heritage and grown interrelations,
  2. Ideological background and the self-positioning in the international framework,
  3. Economic and political interest in view of modern globalization.