JAPANESE STUDIES DISSERTATION WORKSHOP Remapping Asia: Conflicting and Collective Political Goals

August 29, 2019

We are now accepting applications for the last of three planned workshops funded by the Japan Foundation.


Remapping Asia: Conflicting and Collective Political Goals 

Japanese Studies Dissertation workshop for young scholars, especially those based in or from Southeast Asia 

University of California, Berkeley | March 23-26, 2020

The Center for Japanese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley invites applications for participation in a dissertation workshop for Ph.D. candidates currently working on Japan, either uniquely or in a comparative regional context.

Japan’s borders and the places they enclosed have constantly shifted: once closed to the world beyond its shores, early twentieth-century’s Japan’s empire spread far across Asia. When Japan contracted after World War II, it left in its wake numerous contested territories, memories, and repercussions which continue to have critical political import today. How are political alliances shifting in Asia? What do national competitions and collaborations hold for the future? Are borders relevant in a time of globalization, when corporations have become international and cybersecurity threats slip across national boundaries via an unbounded internet?

We invite students from the arts, anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, or other disciplines and currently developing dissertation projects addressing Japan’s place in Asia to join us for an interdisciplinary workshop. Advanced students currently developing dissertation proposals or in the early stages of writing dissertations will most benefit from participation. Emphasis will be on strengthening the theoretic and conceptual foundations of your work, identifying appropriate research methods, goals, and relevant literatures, and encouraging skillful English-language writing practices. Students will collectively engage in rich critical discussions of their and other participants’ projects with mentoring faculty, offering and receiving constructive input on improving research plans.

The workshop will be held over four days in March 2020 on the UC Berkeley campus. Generous funding from the Japan Foundation will cover the full costs of round-trip, economy-class travel to Berkeley, California, plus visas, lodging, ground transportation, and a modest per diem. Support is also available for participants to attend the Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts from March 19-22.

Applicants should be Ph.D. candidates currently writing a dissertation proposal or in an early phase of writing the dissertation itself. Students from the UC Berkeley campus, Japan, and ASEAN nations will receive priority. Special consideration will be given to students from ASEAN universities which are not major Japanese Studies institutions.

The workshop will be moderated by UC Berkeley’s Dr. David Szanton. Questions concerning the program can be addressed to the Center for Japanese Studies at CJS@Berkeley.edu.


  • Your name, email address to be used in correspondence, the name of your university and departmental affiliation.
  • Dissertation title, expected date of completion, and the name of your dissertation chair.
  • A one-page, single-spaced proposal, written in English, describing the dissertation topic and progress to date.
  • A one-page letter of support from your dissertation chair.

Due no later than October 31, 2019, application materials should be emailed to the Center for Japanese Studies at CJS@Berkeley.edu. Notice of acceptance will be by November 30. Accepted participants will be asked to submit additional materials related to their proposal, research and writing for peer review by January 1, 2020. Participants will also receive workshop materials for review via email by January 15, 2020.