Research Symposium 9 November 2018, Osaka University, Graduate School of Letters
The topic of the research symposium that will take place at Osaka University on 9 November 2018 is Mobility, racism, and cultural conflicts across time and space.
In study programmes of Higher Education mobility constitutes usually a positive and rewarding experience, which is undertaken voluntarily. When people move for different social and economic reasons or, in many cases, are forced to move, that is are ‘displaced’, that is of course a very different matter. As the United Nations Refugee Agency states on its website: ‘We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from their homelands. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18’. One of the themes we would like to address, is both forced and unforced mobility and migration, and what this implies for the immigrants, migrants, and refugees themselves and for the countries where they live.
In this regard, cultural conflicts and racism are related themes that we would like to touch upon, both historically and now. One might, for instance, think of the position and the rights and history of ethnic minorities in Japan and in various European countries, but also of the position of Japanese transnational migrants and Nikkei abroad.4 Colonialism and postcolonialism obviously are also very relevant in these two themes. Many European countries have (ethnic) minorities which relate to former colonial empires; racism and cultural conflicts are hot issues in a great many countries.
By discussing these themes in Asian, European, and global contexts, the organisers aim to provide insight on transnational developments across time and place and in its national and transnational challenges.
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