I will be speaking at a workshop at the JACET Chubu Forum on June 2nd, 2012.
Pop along if you have time! My presentation is entitled:
Globalising Japanese History: The Significance of Teaching in English in Japanese Universities
Teaching lessons on Japanese history in English to students at Japanese universities may at first seem useful only for special classes geared towards international students in Japan who are not yet familiar enough with the Japanese language to be able to sit regular Japanese classes on the subject.
However, this paper attempts to debunk this narrow concept and suggests that Japanese history lessons in English for Japanese native students are also relevant in today’s “Globalising” society. The opportunity to study Japanese history in English provides students with a new and refreshing perspective on a subject, which perhaps thus far they had found to be merely a tedious rote-learning exercise instilled during their school days.
This paper seeks to examine the relevance and benefits of Japanese history lessons in English. One key aspect of this topic is the issue of historical memory, or, historical memory loss. Why are some characters in history remembered while others are forgotten?
In addition, some Japanese history scholars of Japanese nationality are not always familiar with the English language. This is not a criticism, however; it merely notes that thus far there has often been a necessary tendency for them to focus on reading old Japanese language documents and source materials. In the past, in an in-depth examination of Japanese historical details, there has not always been the time, resources or necessity for Japanese history scholars of Japanese nationality to access English language sources or produce their own research findings in the English language. In today’s “Globalising” society, this current standard is becoming insufficient.
Therefore, this paper seeks to demonstrate the future possibilities for Japanese history education via the medium of the English language. What new nuances can the English language provide for Japanese history education?