On April 2-3, 2010, the East Asian Studies program hosted its inaugural Senior Research Colloquium. The program kicked off on the 2nd with a lecture by Professor Anne Allison, Robert O. Keohane Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. Professor Allison’s stimulating talk, titled Precarious Sociality: Social Life–and Death–for Youth in Post-Corporate Japan,” explored some of Japan’s current social and cultural problems concerning the loss of long-term employment, the rise of digital communication, ijime, and the alienation of the youth. In a lively Q&A session that followed, Professor Allison and the audience contemplated on the solutions for many of these problems.
On April 3, eight of our East Asian Studies majors presented their research on Japanese politics, culture, and sociality. Topics ranged from the rise of (neo-)nationalism in the post-bubble era, the function of drinking culture and the izakaya in the corporate world, new religions such as Happy Science, the impact of “digital reality” on youth culture, ijime, foodways and politeness, and the literature of the prize-winning author Kanehara Hitomi. Please check out the following blog (http://ames.blogs.wm.edu/) for details on the participants and their research presentations.
We are happy to report that this Colloquium was a strong success! East Asian Studies wishes to thank the Asia Network and the Asian Studies Initiative for financial support; Professor Allison for offering us her piercing insight; and the faculty, staff, and students who assisted in making this event happen.