Educational Project 2 Praxis of Coexistence in Cultural Diversity

Units
"Disparities & Human Rights" Unit / "East Asia" Unit / "Europe" Unit
Representative
Mariko Muramatsu

In the age of globalization, it has come to be more and more important to make connections between the theoretical inquiries into the conditions that would make coexistence in a situation of cultural diversity possible, and their realization through tangible means. The project aims to construct the idea of local community afresh from the viewpoint of civil society on the basis of the accumulation of philosophical knowledge concerning the theory of civil society, while applying this knowledge to resolving issues that are of concern to local communities. The project considers several specific cases in Europe and East Asia, including Japan.

The project is mainly run by the following three units: the "East Asia" unit, the "Europe" unit, and the "Disparities & Human Rights" unit. Students in this project are expected to visit and work in the field, to think independently and to develop their own creative imagination so that they can acquire an understanding of the possible changes in the reality, while learning about the theoretical frameworks concerning the idea of civil society and local communities through courses offered by the participating units.

Classes Offered by the Project

Seminar in the Integrated Human Sciences for Cultural Diversity II
("Disparities & Human Rights" Unit)

  1. "The Disparities and Coexistence between Urban and Rural Areas: A Theoretical Approach"
    Why are there disparities between urban and rural areas? Various issues concerning the industrial structure, the economy, the environment, human rights, politics, etc. have increased disparities. We propose to think about this comprehensive and complicated problem from the philosophical and historical perspectives.
  2. "The Disparities and Coexistence between Urban and Rural Areas: A Practical Approach"
    The aim of this course is to examine the relationship between urban and rural areas. The course focuses primarily on their industrial and social structures of the urban and rural areas, but also considers the characteristics, scales, and environmental problems of local (particularly agricultural) communities.

Seminar in the Integrated Human Sciences for Cultural Diversity VIII
("East Asia" Unit))

  1. "Praxis of Coexistence in Cultural Diversity in East Asia: A Theoretical Approach"
    We aim to construct theoretical maps of coexistence in a situation of cultural diversity, primarily in East Asia. We also discuss the relationship between the ideas of civil society and local communities. The course provides the intriguing lecture series and follow-up discussion coordinated by the project faculty members as taking into account the praxis of coexistence in reality.
  2. "Praxis of Coexistence in Cultural Diversity in East Asia: A Practical Approach"
    We analyze and discuss case studies taking up specific examples of the praxes of coexistence in cultural diversity by sharing a broad range of social practices used not only by scholars, but also by film directors, artists, bureaucrats, and NGO workers.

Seminar in the Integrated Human Sciences for Cultural Diversity IX
("Europe" Unit)

  1. "Transformations of Civil Society and Possibilities of Civility: A Theoretical Approach"
    In this seminar, we critically examine the concept of "civil society" from an interdisciplinary perspective with a goal of building a theory of coexistence in a situation of cultural diversity. The course assumes an interactive format and requires that students read significant works on the civil society.
  2. "Praxis of Civility in Europe: A Practical Approach"
    We analyze case studies associated with such issues as human rights, peace, gender equality, and environmental sustainability in Europe in order to share the "knowledge gained in the field" with those engaged not only in the EU and the various international organizations, but also in the governments, business enterprises, and civic activities in the local communities.

Fieldwork in the Integrated Human Sciences for Cultural Diversity II
("Praxis of Coexistence in Cultural Diversity" Project)

  1. "The Idea of Civil Society and Local Communities: Japan"
    Students in this course are expected to apply the theoretical knowledge of civil society to analyzing the actual issues in the Japanese local communities. We enhance this process by having short field trips and other activities.
    Example: We examine an attempt at coexistence in a situation of cultural diversity in the food culture and the idea of "Furusato" (territory, hometown) as a new public sphere on the site. In addition, we plan to have the fieldwork to experience farm in Ibaraki, fieldworks in Fukushima and Okinawa, the networking with other universities, NGO, and the like.
  2. "The Idea of Civil Society and Local Communities: The World"
    Students in this course are expected to apply the theoretical knowledge of civil society to analyzing the actual issues in a variety of communities. We enhance this process by having short field trips and other activities.
    Example: We will examine the relationship between civil society and rural communities on the food issue by actually going out to "the field." We plan to have a field trip to Italy. And we also plan to go out and examine the possibility of movements driven by civil society in East Asia.