The Department of Cultural Interaction Studies seeks to further broaden the scope of Sophia University’s founding goal of “contributing to the exchange of Eastern and Western cultures,” by looking into the history of cultural interaction and seeking the phases of how new cultures form.
With the advance of globalization, there is an increasing need to look at contact and negotiation among multiple cultures from a broader perspective. At the same time, there is a need to deepen research from a broader perspective in the worlds of literary studies and journalism. Furthermore, there is a need to reconsider the significance of translation as an essential means of cross-cultural negotiation.
We aim to examine the various cultural negotiations surrounding literature beyond the conventional framework and to capture the dynamic nature of cultural negotiations and contact between different cultures. To achieve this goal, we will examine the reality of cross-cultural negotiations from all angles and focus on exploring the elements necessary for a new culture to emerge.
In addition, the Program in Cultural Interaction will link the areas of each department already in the Graduate School of Humanities under the academic pillar of “Cultural Interaction”. We will proactively collaborate with other programs in the Graduate School of Humanities to promote a more pluralistic understanding of culture.
- Master’s Program: MASTER OF ARTS IN CULTURAL INTERACTION
- Doctoral Program: DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN CULTURAL INTERACTION
- Multi-cultural Studies
The theme of how to perceive different cultures as the basis for cultural interaction studies research will be examined, including the characteristics of various cultures and the historical background of culture formation.
- Studies in Cultural Interaction
This is the core course group of the Program in Cultural Interaction, which examines the frictions that occur when various cultures meet and the ways in which they are perceived, focusing on how they can lead to the creation of new cultures.
- Culture in Translation Studies
Translation is one of the means of various exchanges, understanding, and cultural negotiations, as well as an opportunity to create new cultures. We will examine its impact, importance, and diversity.
- Art and Culture
The program examines cultural negotiations and encounters between pieces of literature, with an awareness of the results of literary studies from a broader perspective, called “cultural studies.”
The first objective is to train researchers who understand the essence of cultural negotiation. Second, we will also look to train personnel to engage in basic research that will serve as a foundation for creating new cultures through cross-cultural negotiations.
To achieve these two major goals, we offer courses that help students understand the methods of cross-cultural research and the characteristics of cultural negotiation, as well as courses that transcend the conventional framework to examine various forms of cultural negotiation and dynamically grasp cultural negotiation and cross-cultural contact. We also offer courses that aim to examine translation as an essential means of cultural negotiation from various perspectives.
Gathering of Faculty Members Specializing in Various Fields
Full-time faculty members are selected from each program and from the Graduate Schools of Humanities. In addition, adjunct faculty members specializing in the humanities within the university, as well as those specializing in theology and aesthetics, are invited to serve as adjunct instructors. We will also invite part-time lecturers from outside the university, such as specialists in comparative literature and culture in translation, professors specializing in the history of the relationship between literature and art, and curators specializing in the fine arts. Furthermore, we aim to cultivate individuals who understand the characteristics of art and culture, including literature, and who are proficient in handling “archives” in a variety of media.
Selected Thesis Topics
- A Comparison of Japanese and Chinese Coffee Culture in the Modern Era: Tokyo and Shanghai
- A Study of the Activities of Okinawan Immigrants in Hawaii and their Connection to Okinawa
- From Orchestral Music to Fine Art: The Operatic Nature of Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique”
- The Image of “Light” in The Tale of Genji translated by Arthur Waley
- The Use and Production of the Imperial Image at the Ch’ing Court
- Kabuki Viewing Experience: Relying on the Eyes of Foreign Audiences
- The Changes in the Method of Accepting Foreign Words in China as Seen in the Zaoyangfanshu (The Book of Cooking)
The Master’s Program in Cultural Interaction sets standards for the skills and knowledge students should acquire before graduation as described below: Those who fulfill the graduation requirements and pass their thesis defense shall be deemed to have acquired these qualities and will be awarded a diploma
- The ability to set up an appropriate thesis theme based on a thorough review of the literature but extending beyond existing academic borders
- The ability to read and analyze the material necessary for finding answered based on the theme
- The ability to compile a clear paper based on careful analysis and organized composition
The Doctoral Program in Cultural Interaction sets standards for the skills and knowledge students should acquire before graduation as described below: Those who fulfill the graduation requirements and pass their dissertation defense shall be deemed to have acquired these qualities and will be awarded a diploma.
- The ability to set out a unique and novel theory based on a thorough review of the literature and careful analysis
- The ability to actively seek feedback regarding the research that will serve as the core of one’s dissertation through submission to journals and presentations at academic meetings
- The ability to further pursue one’s research after graduation, aware that one is a researcher and by working overseas, as required
In accordance with the diploma policy, in light of its aim to have students address interaction among various cultures from a broad perspective, the Master’s Program in Cultural Interaction constructs its curriculum with courses aligned to the following purposes
- Conduct research on the characteristics of various cultures and their historical development under the theme of how to understand culture.
- Conduct research on translation, s a tool for cultural interaction that can also become an opportunity for the creation of new cultures, with consideration for its relationship with literature and the arts
- Conduct research on the process of creating new cultures by observing the friction or acceptance seen when different cultures come into contact.
- Have students take “Thesis Methodology” to acquire basic skills for research and writing academic papers in preparation for compiling a thesis.
In accordance with the diploma policy, in light of its aim to teach students how to examine materials and pursue their research themes as well as the essence of writing a dissertation so that students can compile a dissertation that builds on the features of this doctoral program, the Doctoral Program in Cultural Interaction constructs its curriculum with courses aligned to the following purposes:
- Have students pursue higher levels of research based on the fundamental knowledge accumulated in the Master’s Program and the findings of their thesis.
- Through classwork and personal guidance, foster higher skills in handling material that serve as foundations for the creation of culture with the pride and self-awareness as researchers
The Master’s Program in Cultural Interaction seeks students with the following qualities.
- Inquisitive students eager to learn about various cultures and interested in the interaction among different cultures and the resulting change
- Students interested in culture in a broad context, exceeding the boundaries of philosophy, literature, history and other existing human and social sciences or including science technology and other sciences
- Students with logical thinking skills and basic writing skills in English or Japanese, the language the thesis will be written in.
The Doctoral Program in Cultural Interaction seeks students with the following qualities:
- Students eager to build on their Master’s thesis, perform higher level research and aim to acquire a Doctoral degree
- Students who endeavor to deepen their research and constantly consider expanding their research field, therefore serving international cultural understanding from new perspectives
- Students with the attitude to actively communicate their research outcomes to the public through presentations at academic meetings and submitting papers to academic journals
Akifumi NAGATA Professor
Dominic CHEETHAM Professor
Reiko MIWA Professor
Hiroshi KIMURA Associate Professor
Soichiro JITTANI Assistant Professor