Professor OYABU, Yasushi
It has been almost 10 years since the School of Culture, Media and Society was established in 2007 with the aim of developing new academic fields by shedding fresh, contemporary light on the rich accumulation of humanities knowledge collected and produced through the humanities studies of Waseda University and going beyond the traditional boundaries of different academic disciplines.
These new fields of studies are divided into six interdisciplinary theoretical configurations, namely “Transcultural Studies,” which consider regional cultures with a comprehensive analysis of the mobility and confluence of cultural formations, “Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture,” which use relational analyses and comparative research of interchanges and liminal spaces between cultural regions, stepping beyond the constraints of time and region, “Studies of Media, Body and Image,” which analyze a wide variety of art and cultural activities through the three apertures of media, body and image, “Creative Writing and Criticism,” which train students for the creation and transmission of literary culture, “Contemporary Human Studies,” which aim to develop resourceful human resources who are able to deal with the multiple problems of contemporary life, and “Social Constitution, History and Culture,” which consider innovative social construction strategies while analyzing contemporary issues and problems in historical and cultural terms. The mission of a university should be to learn existing knowledge, question it, and endeavor to go beyond it. I believe that the six theoretical configurations are nothing but fields where this mission of our university can be put into practice.
The School of Culture, Media and Society will launch a new initiative in April 2017. It is about setting up and implementing the Global Studies in Japanese Cultures Program, which is designed to allow students to learn about Japanese culture from a global point of view to develop human resources who will communicate what they will have learned in this program to different parts of the world. This is an English-based degree program in which equal numbers of Japanese and non-Japanese first-year students can enroll after passing a special entrance examination to graduate with a degree by completing all necessary courses in English. The Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences has established the Ryusaku Tsunoda Center of Japanese Culture to build up a world-wide network of Global Japanese Studies, as part of the Top Global University Project by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. In coordination and cooperation with activities at the Center, the new program will provide education reflecting the latest studies of Japanese cultures.
By choosing the subjects that interest you most as your core subjects in one of the theoretical configurations that are all distinctive in their own ways and designing your world of studies around those subjects, you are certain to see the creation of the unique values your heart aspires to. Students learning in these theoretical configurations could be compared to people sailing on open seas, which represent academic fields that extend beyond existing disciplines. We are waiting for YOU to join this adventure of setting out to sea without a map to explore the unknown. The School of Culture, Media and Society is a rich, full sea where you are urged to plot your own course.