» Message from the Department Chair | The Faculty of International Studies at Meiji Gakuin University Message from the Department Chair – The Faculty of International Studies at Meiji Gakuin University
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Global & Transcultural Studies


Message from the Department Chair

Prof. Alexander Vesey, Chair

Ever since my first sojourn in as a college student in 1981, I have been impressed by Japan’s cultural traditions. That interest continues to this day, but my understanding of “traditional culture” have changed over the years. Whereas, my initial fascination had strong antiquarian undertones, I now understand that no matter how “old” some ritual or practice might appear to be, in fact living culture is always changing. These changes might be observable, or they may be so long term that we are not really aware of them. With the advent of mass media, mass travel, and other flows that drive modern globalization, the fluidity of cultural change is ever more apparent. People who can flexibly adapt will benefit from having a greater range of cultural choices for fashioning their identities, but rapid shifts can be disorienting and disturbing for others. For this reason, globalization can be a source of innovation and a source of resistance to change. Those are interested in cultural traditions may be faced with the choice of change some traditions in order to preserve others. This is particular true with the sudden rise of AI, and some observers question whether photographers, musicians and other creators will be replaced by AI. Conversely, the challenge of AI gives us an opportunity to reaffirm our human qualities.

I am specifically interested in culture, but my colleagues in the Department of Global and Transcultural Studies, and the Faculty of International Studies as a whole, work with our students to understand the economic, political and social impact of globalization on Japan, other regions, and the world as a whole. Based on these studies, we help students to think about ways that they can navigate these global flows to fashion their own life careers. We hope that you will join us in Yokohama to share in this search for knowledge and understanding of world and your future.