Educational Project 4 Producing Multicultural Communities: Methods, Designs, and Praxes

"Human Mobility & Borders" Unit / "Information & Media" Unit
Shigeto Sonoda and Kaori Hayashi

In today's globalizing world, we need to understand social and cultural differences for promoting a multicultural society. This process begins with cultivating the necessary knowledge and social skills for communication across racial, gender, national, and ethnic divides. As part of the Integrated Human Sciences Program for Cultural Diversity, this educational project adopts a social scientific approach for thinking about the question of multicultural coexistence. In this project, students conduct research with practical case studies, mostly by utilizing the disciplines of Comparative Sociology, East Asian Regional Studies, Media and Journalism Studies, and Cultural Studies. Students are also encouraged to participate in overseas summer programs, internships, and other cross-cultural opportunities aimed at expanding their horizons.

In addition to the provided courses, there will be various seminars and symposiums jointly held with overseas universities (Free University of Berlin, University of Hong Kong, Nanyang Technological University, and so on).

This project is organized around two units: Human Mobility & Borders (leader: Shigeto Sonoda) and Information & Media (leader: Kaori Hayashi). The educational curriculum is run by leading social science faculties from the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies (III), the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), and other departments/institutes at the Hongo Campus.

Classes Offered by the Project

Seminar in the Integrated Human Sciences for Cultural Diversity III
("Human Mobility & Borders" Unit)

"Joint Summer Program with University of Hong Kong"
The program will be consisted of lectures, fieldtrips, and presentations. The topics in the program will include (1) Historical Perspectives of Hong Kong, (2) Japanese Businesses in Hong Kong, and (3) Hong Kong in a Global Context. Participants will listen to the lectures delivered by professors in the University of Hong Kong, and then will participate in the fieldwork/fieldtrip. The program is also part of the PEAK and ITASIA curriculum (with credits), but all students who wish to apply to the program can do so by applying for the call made by Division of International Affairs. Participants in the program will form several small groups, each of which will make presentation on its research questions and findings on the last day of the program. Graduate students as well as undergraduate students (capacity: 15 students from each university) will join the program and the former will be expected to function as a leader of each group. This program will be held around early August for ten days, and UTokyo students will stay in the dormitory with the HKU students. The accommodation fee and flight fare will be fully covered for the selected IHS Program students.

Seminar in the Integrated Human Sciences for Cultural Diversity IV
("Information & Media" Unit)

"Practical Seminar for Creating a New TV Program with NHK"
Mr. Satoru Watanabe, currently a Chief Producer at NHK, will conduct a practical class that aims to assist students in learning the knowledge and skills necessary for producing a television program. The instructor will introduce useful information for academic research as well as for practical TV program production. Students will learn the characteristics of the Japanese TV format with a comparative perspective, and will discuss how we can design television in a multicultural society. Classes are conducted in Japanese.

Seminar in the Integrated Human Sciences for Cultural Diversity IV
("Information & Media" Unit)

"Methodologies of Multiculturalism"
In this course, students will learn qualitative methods of media studies through the practical use of visual and textual archives. Students will be required to give close attention to issues of how the distribution of power and resources, the construction of identity, and social approval are represented in the media. Classes are conducted in Japanese.