Call for Participants

Nearly every campus within CUNY offers Japan-related courses (across multiple disciplines), yet to date there has been no coordinated effort to connect faculty or to create a cohesive course of study for students seeking to focus their undergraduate studies on Japan. To address the issue of scholars working in silos across CUNY, we are launching “‘Be Better, Together:’ Japanese Studies Curriculum Development and Building Bridges Across CUNY” in Fall 2020 with institutional support from the Japan Foundation. We are currently seeking 10 faculty participants from across CUNY who are interested in meeting monthly (five times) from September 2020 to February 2021 to help build and enhance a more cohesive CUNY-wide Japanese Studies Program. (Detailed schedule of meetings is available at Each participant will receive a $500 professional development fund to support re-designing class activities and curriculum. The five monthly meetings will take place either at the CUNY Graduate Center or on a virtual platform, depending upon circumstances in the Fall 2020 semester.

We have lined up several invited scholars to enhance our monthly meetings with presentations on different topics such as contemporary Japanese history, demographic crises and disability, and language and gender. The lynchpin of these different meetings will be the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021, which presents itself as a complex and timely topic for interdisciplinary collaboration among the Japan scholars. Closely related to the originally-conceived thematic framework of the Olympics will be a thematic focus on Japan Studies in a time of COVID-19 – together we will discuss ways of effectively incorporating this newly-significant topic into our respective courses.

More information, along with the descriptions of invited speakers for the seminar, can be found on the project website at Click to submit your application, which is comprised of a few questions aimed at identifying your role within the broader Japanese Studies ecosystem of CUNY. The application deadline is the Friday, July 10, 2020. Selected applicants will be notified by Monday, August 3, 2020.