Faculty Research

Research Conferences

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens will host workshops on Japan during the three years of the grant, which will have a different thematic focus each time. A Florida-Japan Summit will be sponsored by SEUS/Japan and the Japanese Business Association at the Morikami Museum in year two, and at FIU in the third year. Faculty from community colleges and Miami Hoshuko will participate in professional development workshops.

Some of the topics to be covered at various SFPJS events, especially the annual Southern Japan Seminar which will be organized in collaboration with partner institutions, include panel discussions with outside speakers on the History of the Asia–Pacific Region, Asia and Pre-Modern Global Trade, Gender and Marginalized Peoples in Japan, or Urban versus Ex-Urban Spaces in Japan and East Asia.

SFPJS Project Administration
The Project Director and Steering Committee members will work closely with faculty counterparts at FAU to achieve academic excellence in all areas. The Director is Steven Heine, Professor of Religious Studies and History as well as Director of Asian Studies at FIU. Heine specializes in East Asian and comparative religions and Japanese Buddhism and intellectual history. In addition to many lectures given at institutions in the U.S. and internationally, Heine has published two dozen books with prestigious university presses on Japanese religion and cultural studies, many of which have been reviewed by Choice, Philosophy East and West, the Journal of Asian Studies, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, among other outlets. On April 29, 2007, the Government of Japan conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette to Steven Heine. This award was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the advancement of the study of Japanese culture and the promotion of understanding of Japan.

Other FIU committee members include the following experts on Japanese society:

  • Ken Lipartito, Professor and Chair of History, is an expert on world business history who has attended conferences in Japan and supervised a doctoral dissertation on Japanese business.
  • Matthew Marr, Assistant Professor of Global and Sociocultural Studies and Asian Studies, specializes in Japanese sociology ranging from immigration to popular social movements.
  • Asuka Mashav, Senior Instructor of Japanese, has consistently built the Japanese language program, in part through funding received from the Japan Foundation.
  • Eric Messersmith, Asian Studies Lecturer who specializes in interdisciplinary studies of Japan, regularly teaches a variety of courses on Japanese society.
  • Hitomi Yoshio, Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature, whose research interests include 20th century Japanese literary works and cultural criticism, postwar literature and film.

As an external consultant, Dr. John Allen Tucker, Professor of Asian History at East Carolina University and an expert in the field of pre-modern Japan, will consult with and evaluate SJPJS. Tucker will visit South Florida in the first and final years of the grant to help plan and assess the success of the faculty hire as well as the overall goals of the project. Tucker is a leading scholar in studies of the Edo Period, with numerous publications including Ito Jinsai’s Gomo Jigi and the Philosophical Definition of Early Modern Japan. Tucker, formerly of the University of North Florida, has participated in SJS and other Japan-related events at FIU, and is familiar with the growth of the program. Tucker will also give a lecture each time he is on campus.