2011-2013 Japanese Studies Lecture Series

Kinkakuji Temple
The Japanese Studies Program at Illinois College is pleased to present a new lecture series during the 2011-2013 academic year. Please mark your calendar to attend these exciting lectures which are free and open to the public: 
“The Myth of McDonaldization: Globalization and Cultural Change in a Japanese Community”
Monday, September 26, 2011 | Kirby 6 | 11 a.m.

Dr. L. Keith Brown is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. He has served on the American Advisory Committee of the Japan Foundation, and in 1995 he received the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, an Imperial award (medal) from the Japanese government for “outstanding contributions to furthering Japanese Studies and promoting academic exchange between Japan and the United States. This is the highest honor that the Japanese government can bestow upon a non-Japanese citizen. Brown has been studying Mizusawa in Northeastern Japan to compare the farmer, merchant and former samurai communities in the area since 1961, and he still travels there once a year.

In his public lecture, Brown will talk about his town, Mizusawa.  He explains, "During the fifty years that I have been studying the farmers, merchants and former samurai families of Mizusawa in Northeastern Japan, their creative and unique responses to the resources made available to them through the processes of globalization give ample evidence of the strength of their culture and their adaptability to a constantly and dramatically changing social, physical, and economic world.  They make their decisions on what to do under these new conditions within the framework of a culture inherited from a rich historical past."

“Human-Animal Relations in Japan and in the U.S.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | Kirby Learning Center, Room 6 | 7 p.m.

Dr. Niwako Ogata, research associate at the Animal Behavior Clinic, Tufts University, provides behavior consultations for pet owners. She received her Veterinary Medicine Degree from Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University and holds a Ph.D. in Veterinary Ethology from the University of Tokyo. Before she moved to the US in 2008, Ogata provided behavior consultations for over 10 years at her private practice in Osaka, Japan.

Shakuhachi (Traditional Japanese Flute) Recital
Friday, November 4, 2011 | Rammelkamp Chapel | 4 p.m.

Dr. Martha Fabrique, associate professor of music at Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, has been an active performer and scholar of the Japanese shakuhachi for over 20 years. She gave performances at the World Shakuhachi Festival 2008 in Sydney, Australia, and presented the lecture “New Horizons: Japanese Women and the Shakuhachi,” which she is preparing to publish. Fabrique is featured as a soloist in performances at the San Antonio Museum of Art, for the Japan America Society of San Antonio, at regional universities and in solo recitals. Her doctoral thesis is titled “Crosswinds: Interpreting Flute Literature Influenced by the Japanese Shakuhachi,” and she has lectured on this subject at the National Flute Convention, the World Shakuhachi Festival and the International Conference of the College Music Society in Kyoto, Japan.

“Japanese Ceramics”
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | Crispin Lecture Hall | 7 p.m.
Dr. John Fritsche, professor of education at Illinois College, studied ceramics at the Art Institute of Chicago. He will give a lecture on Japanese ceramics and traditional apprenticeship in Japan. We will have a tea bowl exhibit at the College’s Schewe Library around the time as well.

“U.S.-Japan Relations and the Great East Japan Earthquake”
February 21 2012
 | Kirby Learning Center, Room 6 | 7:30 p.m.
Consul Koutaro Matsuzawa, Consulate General of Japan at Chicago, will update us on the disasters caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake that shook Japan in March 2011 and discuss the history and issues of U.S.-Japan relations. 

“Shinto Religion in Japan”
Monday, March 12, 2012
 | Kirby Learning Center, Room 6 | 11 a.m.  

Dr. Leslie Williams, associate professor of Japanese and anthropology at Clemson University, teaches courses on Japanese language, literature, culture, religion and East Asian history. His research interests include Shinto and Taoist cosmological influences in Japan, the socially-determined cognitive structures of the supernatural in Japan, Japanese language pedagogy, and Taoist diet and exercise methods for enhancing the quality of life. His book, Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shinto Ritual at Hakozaki, examines the ancient Shinto worldview that structures the rituals he observed in both shrine and popular contexts in contemporary northern Kyushu. In his lecture he will discuss Shinto in contemporary Japanese society.

“Sports and Society in Japan and in the U.S.”
Thursday, March 22, 2012
 | Kirby Learning Center, Room 6 | 7 p.m. 

Ms. Ariko Iso, the head football athletic trainer for Oregon State University, worked as assistant athletic trainer for the Pittsburgh Steelers for nine years. When she became full-time trainer for the Steelers in 2002, she was the first female athletic trainer to work in the NFL, and no one else has followed her path to this day. She received her degree in exercise and sport science and athletic training from Oregon State University.

Based on her experience being an athlete in Japan and studying and working as a trainer in the U.S., Iso will compare similarities and differences of the two societies. She will also talk about her experience as a female trainer for an NFL team, which many people consider to be the symbol of masculinity in the U.S.

“Japanese Girl Cool: Neglected Aspects of Cool Japan Innovation”
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 | Kirby Learning Center, Room 6 | 7 p.m.  

Dr. Laura MillerEiichi Sibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, has been active as a leader in many professional organizations, including her role as the President of the Society for East Asian Anthropology, American Anthropological Association (2003~2005) and Chair and Program Director of the Midwest Japan Seminar (2000~2003). She has published more than fifty articles and book chapters on Japanese culture and language, including topics such as the Korean wave, English loanwords in Japanese, the Abeno Seimei boom, girls’ slang, and print club photos.

She will discuss popular culture in Japan, with particular focus on girl culture as well as the globalization of
otaku (anime fans). This presentation will highlight some of the fascinating yet frequently overlooked cultural activities and aesthetics found in girl culture.
“From the Wasteland to the Tsunami: Miyazaki Hayao's New Paradigm of Apocalypse”
Monday, November 5, 2012 | Kirby Learning Center, Room 6 | 11 a.m.
Dr. Susan Napier, Professor Japanese Language and Literature at Tufts University, has published numerous books and articles on anime and contemporary Japanese fiction.  In particular, she is a leading scholar of anima and manga.  In her forth-coming book titled From Impressionism to Anime:  Japan as Fantasy and Fan Cult in the Western Imagination, Napier discusses the impact of Japanese culture over the last 150 years with a particular focus on anime fandom. 
This lecture explores the apocalyptic imagination expressed in the films and manga (graphic of novels) of Hayao Miyazaki.  Not only is Miyazaki one of the greatest living animators both in Japan and around the world, but he is also an ardent environmentalist with a strong message concerning the fate of the planet. In films from his 1985 "Nausicaa" to his recent "Ponyo," Miyazaki offers an alternative template to Western notions of how to live and give meaning to life. Shinto, Buddhism and Christianity mix with stunning imagery and memorable characters to produce a vision of the world that is both challenging and unforgettable. 
The inaugural Japanese Studies lecture series was made possible by the following generous grants:

:: Japan Foundation, New York Grant for Japanese Studies
:: Malcom Stewart Award
:: Alice Margaret Engelbach Memorial Endowment for Asian Studies

For more information, please email

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