Field Study

Field Studies seminars are one-term courses that study a particular theme or research topic. The seminar also lays the groundwork for a one- or two-week, faculty-led research trip in which you conduct fieldwork, visit museums, and engage in other educational activities. The trips are scheduled during the vacation periods, and the destinations are often overseas. Upon your return to campus, you prepare a written report based upon your course work, research and experiences.

Field studies in the 2016 academic year:

Prof. Michael Watson

“Cultural heritage and innovation in contemporary China and Japan” is the theme for a field trip to China in September. We will stay one week in Beijing, seeing key heritage sites, cultural institutions (museums, art galleries, theatres), and modern areas of interest, making a day-trip to the Great Wall. Two full days will be spent on the campus of Tsinghua University, having discussions with Chinese students about topics prepared during the Field Study seminar. The aim is to understand the significance of cultural heritage in both China and Japan.

Prof. Saito Yuriko

The theme of this field study program in Myanmar was “The Light and Shadow of Development.” During the tour, we studied marginalized social problems that are related to the positive “light” and darker “shadows” of economic development, and we considered possible solutions to these issues. Prior to departure, in class we learned and practiced the basics of fieldwork. During the ten-day trip, students hoped to understand observer participation and the social background of Myanmar. They also worked to develop their sense of responsibility and communication skills. The students reflected upon and internalized the lessons of their field work experience through presentations on their activities and through written reports.

Field Study Report

Prof. Yoshii Atsushi

Last year in September, my Field Study visited the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau, and the International Court in The Hague. We used these sites as source materials on WWII period crimes against humanity in order to examine international rules and processes for addressing human rights violations by states and individuals. The schedule for this year is not yet set, but we may visit sites in Asia that reflect these themes.