Call for Papers:
Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ) Annual Conference

The Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ) invites submissions for its annual Fall session, to be held at Temple University, Japan Campus, November 6 and 7, 2010.

Conference Theme
Making Local Places in Trans-Cultural Flows:
Methodologies, Rhetorics and Ethnographies
October 15, 2010
Submission Process
Please submit paper abstracts and panel proposals to

Conference Abstract

Anthropological research methodology in Japan has traditionally been circumscribed by the locality of place, as researchers have focused on the village, community or intensive social network with whom they interact. Yet increasingly, the centrality of specific sites and regional locales, which had defined a previous generation of research, has been supplemented (if not dislocated) by cyber communities, transglobal networks and digital technologies, where identity is amorphous and transitory. For scholars who are bridging the divides between cultural, language and ethnic domains, this transition raises important questions about how research agendas are to be calibrated as we plow the waters of post-modern culture and attempt to negotiate self/other and uchi/soto relations when the cultural domain is so ill-defined and rapidly evolving.

This conference invites scholars to address questions and issues related to the production/construction, flow (including consumption), and re-configuration of 'knowledge' on Japan at the individual, institutional and structural levels.

We ask you to consider some of the following themes/topics:

  • How are emerging discourses on globalization affecting the status of ethnographic research in localized contexts?
  • What defines the (often ill-defined) practice of fieldwork?
  • Negotiating identity/ identities in the field, and the impact of the identity/identities on the data gained
  • The readership of research publications: who are you writing for, andhow does that matter? How does that affect our fieldwork?
  • By focusing on social relations rather than decision-making, does anthropology risk being merely “bad sociology”(e.g. sociology without the quantitative rigor)?
  • What is the relation between particular research projects and their desired outcomes?
  • The challenges of 'conducting' research as a 'native' anthropologist / conducting field research 'at home'
  • Ethics in anthropological fieldwork (the impact of personal information protection law, IRB)
  • New methods of fieldwork - use of technology, working in teams, gathering data through mediated networks

Keynote Lecture: Koichi Iwabuchi, Waseda University

"East Asian Media Cultures and the Global Governance of Cultural Connectivity"

In the last two decades, we have witnessed the drastic development of the production of media cultures and their transnational circulation in non-Western region. East Asia is one of the most prominent regions in which new cultural expressions flourish, cultural mixing intensifies, and intra-regional consumption sets in motion. While the rise of East Asian media culture circulation and consumption has considerably facilitated mediated conversations among people in the region, it is questionable if these developments have eventually challenged uneven transnational media cultural circulations and have truthfully promoted dialogic connections among people of various places. Referring to cases in the Japanese context, this presentation will critically review the ways in which the development of East Asian media culture production and connections fails to serve wider public interests by looking at the interplay of three interrelated forces in the global governance of media culture connectivity—the marketization of media cultures, the institutionalization of banal inter-nationalism and the states’ growing interest in branding the nation.

Koichi Iwabuchi Profile
Koichi Iwabuchi is Professor of media and cultural studies at the School of International Liberal Studies of Waseda University. He has been worked on the issues of media and cultural globalization; cultural connections in East Asia; multicultural questions and transnationalism in the Japanese context; cultural citizenship and an inclusive reconstruction of the nation. His English publications include: Recentering Globalization: Popular culture and Japanese transnationalism, Duke University Press, 2002; East Asian Pop Culture: Analyzing the Korean Wave, co-eds with Chua Beng Huat, Hong Kong University Press, 2008. He, together with Chris Berry, is an editor of a Hong Kong University Press book series, TransAsia: Screen Cultures.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit a 150-200 word abstract, with paper title, author name and institutional affiliation. (If the paper is presented in Japanese, please provide an English-language translation of the abstract). Please specify preference for panel theme/topic and indicate if papers are being submitted collectively as part of a preconceived panel.

AJJ Executive Committee

President Emeritus - Harumi Befu
President - Hirochika Nakamaki
Vice Presidents - Michael Shackleton and John Mock

Conference Organizing Committee

Kyle Cleveland, Temple University, Japan Campus (
John Mock, Temple University, Japan Campus (
Sachiko Horiguchi, Temple University, Japan Campus (
David Slater, Sophia University (

About ICAS
The Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.

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