Providing opportunities for original research and international exchange for early-career researchers is a priority for Ritsumeikan University. In the arts, in the sciences, and indeed in the ever growing areas where both meet, the university actively seeks out and supports unique research in a unique setting.

A shining example is the newly established ANU-RU Visiting Researcher’s Program – an international research exchange program between Ritsumeikan University and The Australian National University (ANU) set up to facilitate cross-border joint research projects between the two universities.

Managed by the Ritsumeikan Asia-Japan Research Institute (AJI), one of 12 permanent research institutions at Ritsumeikan University, the Program aims to pair researchers with mutually shared interests from each university with a view to expanding and deepening international research ties across borders and providing a catalyst for further, long-term research.

Dr. Broinowski at The Museum of Kyoto
Dr. Broinowski at The Museum of Kyoto

Working together this year are ANU’s Dr. Adam Broinowski, a research fellow and honorary lecturer from the School of Culture, History and Language, in the College of Asia and the Pacific, and Ritsumeikan’s Professor Paul Dumouchel, of the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences. Both will build on a shared interest in ‘catastrophe’ and how individual human behavior gives rise to what might be termed `social responses’. Meanwhile, a shared interest in a deconstructive approach to international relations brings together ANU’s Dr. Joseph MacKay, a research fellow from the Department of International Relations, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, and Professor Norihisa Yamashita of Ritsumeikan’s College of International Relations.

The Program currently includes a period of stay in Japan at Ritsumeikan University and offers comprehensive and unrivalled support to researchers. Kinugasa campus (Kyoto) hosted Doctors MacKay and Broinowski from mid-January to mid-February for a period of intensive research.

Dr. MacKay on Kinugasa Campus
Dr. MacKay on Kinugasa Campus

Dr. MacKay based himself entirely in Kyoto in order to familiarize himself with the city and Ritsumeikan University itself, with an eye on the new Dual Degree Program to be offered by Ritsumeikan and The Australian National University in 2019.

Meanwhile Dr. Broinowski, in collating research from a variety of unique sources during his stay, visited film archives at The Museum of Kyoto (Kyoto City), the National Film Centre, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum and the studios of contemporary woodblock artists (Tokyo), and Yamagata Prefecture’s film archives (Yamagata City); taking part also in informal discussions regarding the new Dual Degree Program.

Two forthcoming articles, links to which will appear here, will look in more detail at the program-related research themes of both visiting professors based on interviews conducted during their stay in Japan.

This occasion marks the second implementation of the program, known as the 2017 ANU-RU Visiting Researchers Program (2017 marking the start of the application process), and is scheduled officially to run for a maximum of 3 months: January to March 2018.


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