The primary goal is Staff Expansion through the establishment at FIU of a new full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Japanese history or international relations with an emphasis on the pre-modern period and engagement with transnational issues. The faculty member who holds the new position will expand studies of Japan as part of the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Asian Studies Program at FIU, which has been growing rapidly in recent years, and will also enable the SFPJS to create an integrated approach to scholarship, instruction, and service.
In the first year of the project, FIU will conduct the search for a tenure-track position in pre-modern Japanese History, with an appointment beginning in year two of the grant. The faculty will teach up to four courses per year relating to Japanese history and culture, including a section of a core course at FIU, “Introduction to East Asia,” which enrolls over 400 students per semester in several sections, as well as “Japan and the New East,” both of which are part the curriculum of the Asian Studies Program. In addition, two new advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of History will be created: “History of Pre-Modern Japan,” which will fulfill an essential requirement in the degree programs of both Asian Studies and History, and “Japan and Transnationalism,” which will emphasize Japan’s role that extends beyond its traditional national boundaries, such as relations with China and South Korea and involvement in worldwide commercial and cultural exchanges.
The new faculty position will assist in the expansion of courses on pre-modern Japanese history,encompassing the Edo period with a special focus on the End of the Shogunate, or Bakumatsu,concerning issues of national identity, state building, the early development of corporate economy, and international relations, in order to meet the ongoing demand for introductory and advanced studies of Japan. The scholar who fills this position is also expected to be familiar with late-medieval Japan, involving 16th century transnational issues such as the arrival of the Jesuit missionaries in Japan and the attempted invasion of Korea, as well as the Meiji period including the initial cultural and diplomatic contact with the Western world and the formation of the imperial system accompanied by the transition of the capital from Kyoto to Tokyo. This position builds on the fact that enrollments for a course currently taught on the “History of Japan,” which now emphasizes the pre- and post-war periods, have peaked with over 60 students registered each fall, spring, and summer semesters. The new faculty will also be greatly involved with the SFPJS by giving lectures as part of the educational program of the Morikami Museum and helping to coordinate a series of workshops held at various sites for specialist and non-specialist scholars teaching at FIU and FAU.