FIU, Japan Foundation launch The South Florida Partnership in Japanese Studies

The Asian Studies Program will launch The South Florida Partnership in Japanese Studies (SFPJS) starting this fall semester. Funded for more than $550,000 by an Institutional Project Support Program Grant from the Japan Foundation and FIU, the partnership is set to run until 2017.

Iwami Kagura event featuring the popular snake dragons.

Iwami Kagura event at FIU featuring the popular snake dragons.

“FIU’s Asian Studies Program is one of the most dynamic not only in Florida but in the southeast United States,” said Steven Heine, director of Asian Studies. “This grant will help us serve more than the 130 students majoring in the program. It will also help expand the university’s coverage of Japanese social history and engage with the community through partnerships. We are especially thankful for the foundation’s enthusiastic support.”

SFPJS is designed to enhance knowledge and critical analysis of Japanese history and culture through interdisciplinary curriculum and a multi-institutional consortium for promoting research, teaching and outreach. Its primary goal is to expand program staff by establishing a new full-time, tenure-track assistant professor position in Japanese history with an emphasis on the pre-modern period and engagement with transnational issues. The FIU faculty member will play a key role in enabling the project to create an integrated approach to scholarship, instruction and service. The project will also take on developing curriculum and courses at FIU and FAU; research conferences and faculty development workshops; library support to build the vernacular and digital collections; publication support to expand the scope of the Japan Studies Review, an annual peer-reviewed journal; and research travel to Japan.

SFPJS partners include Florida Atlantic University, the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, and the Florida Delegation of the Southeast U.S./Japan Association (SEUS/Japan). The project will also engage in community outreach initiatives by partnering with Miami-Dade College, Broward College, the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese, Miami Hoshuko, and the Japanese Business Association of Miami.

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