2018 Minato Citizen's University at Temple University, Japan Campus: "Community"

Photo from 2017 Minato Cititzen's University

Scene from previous year's Minato Citizen's University.

What is a community? The dictionary defines community as “a group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.” However, rapid technological development and globalization have changed the nature of our communities while expanding the meaning of what a community can be. These changes have made it difficult for us to recognize what communities we belong to and what physical and social spaces we share as communities. This is especially true in large, interconnected, global cities like Tokyo.

TUJ faculty will examine the meaning and role of community in modern society from a variety of perspectives. We hope this event will be an opportunity for you to think about what community means to you and how you fit in and interact with your community or communities.

October 22, 24, 29, 31 and November 5
19:00-20:30 (Doors open at 18:30)
Temple University, Japan Campus, Azabu Hall 1F, Parliament (Access)
2,500 yen for five lectures.
Bank transfer prior to the first session is required. Non-refundable.
TUJ will specify bank account details by e-mail.
50 (first-come, first-served basis)
* Priority will be given to those who live/work in Minato Ward.
Registration closed

Lecture 1

Portrait photograph of Dean Stronach
The University as “A Community” and as Part of “The Community” in a Globalized World
Bruce Stronach, Dean, TUJ (Profile)

The talk will center on how universities identify themselves simultaneously as separate from the outside world and as an integral part of the outside world.

Given the technological changes that drive globalization: (1) how can a university maintain the necessary objective remove from the outside world and (2) how does it respond to the changing concept of what a community can be in a globalized world?

Lecture 2

Portrait photograph of Irene Herrera & Rumi Ide
Tackling the Issue of Food Waste in Japan
Irene Herrera, TUJ Assistant Professor of Communication Studies (Profile)
Rumi Ide, Journalist, Expert on Food Loss

As much as a third of the world’s food supply goes to waste each year. Japan alone accounts for 18 million tons of discarded food annually, of which 6 to 8 million tons is still edible. Food waste occurs at different stages of the supply chain. Sometimes, fresh produce doesn’t conform to aesthetic and freshness standards. Other times, business practices put pressure on providers to overproduce. The issue involves stakeholders at all levels. Everyone, including consumers, has a responsibility in helping to reduce food loss. This documentary follows those looking for solutions.

The screening of this 28 minute documentary will be followed by a lecture and Q&A with Rumi Ide, expert on food waste, and director of the film Irene Herrera.

Lecture 3

Portrait photograph of George Miller
A World Without Mass Media and the Impact on Communities
George Miller, TUJ Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Journalism (Profile)

In an increasingly digital world, it's becoming harder and harder to reach mass audiences. At the same time, information - factual or not - spreads like wildfire. Ideas and stereotypes are formed and sent around the world, identities are defined and communities are branded, for better or worse. Can the chaos be reigned in?

Lecture 4

Portrait photograph of Yuka Matsuhashi
Finding Yourself in Your Community—The Importance of Cross-cultural Communication
Yuka Matsuhashi, TUJ Lecturer of Japanese Language (Profile)

Since the development of advanced technologies, the shape of community has undergone a tremendous change, and our style of interaction has transformed dramatically. However, when it comes to opening up minds, meeting people in person and interacting with each other through shared experience still plays an important role.

In this lecture, Matsuhashi will introduce cultural competence as “the Five Cs— Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities” and how we can better understand another culture and accept each other’s perceptions as a member of the global community. We will also discuss (1) what the ideal community would be and (2) what individuals can do to build a new community.

Lecture 5

Portrait photograph of Mark Azzopardi
Outsiders and the Community in American Art and Literature
Mark Azzopardi, TUJ Assistant Professor of Intellectual Heritage and Modern Literature

Plato’s Republic Book X excludes the artist from its ideal community on the basis that art merely imitates or represents appearances, therefore remaining “a long way from reality.” This talk will survey relations between artists, representation and community in American art and literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. It will explore how American art has often found itself in creative tension with the idea of community, and look historically at the figure of the artist as an outsider to common or collective society.