Tartu, Estonia

Open and Closed Societies: The Example of Japan

when 10 August 2020 - 16 August 2020
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 350

Due to the covid-19 outbreak, this course has been cancelled for 2020.

Japan is known for its unique culture and way of living. The recent FTA between Japan and the EU as well as the growing openness in fields of education and economy shows clearly how global forces impact countries in enabling mutual exchanges and understanding. However, Japan has also been well-known for its insular character and closedness in the course of history. Because of that, Japan is an intriguing example for finding answers to the following questions - how to maintain country’s unique culture, but at the same time be open to cooperation and internationalization? How does the country see oneself and one’s neighbours? And how does one implement certain conceptions into politics, education and literature?

The summer school in August focuses on contemporary issues in Japan and discusses societal developments from a closed and open society perspective. The program takes an interdisciplinary look at fields of history, education, politics and literature. Together with students we want to discuss in how far the concepts of closedness and openness are applicable to societies, and where do we move in the light of recent global developments.

Methods of the summer school:
The focus of this summer school is on the personal development of the participant. Therefore, we take into account participants needs of development and wishes as much as possible. We use different methods to create interactive learning environment - reflecting lectures, group and individual tasks are some of them. By the time of the application, students are requested to write 3 questions or topics they would like to discuss or focus on during the summer school.

Project paper:
Possibility to publish an article after the summer school. As part of the summer school students will have time for group work and discussion. The aim is to find ideas and research questions to focus further on after the summer school. In collaboration with the summer school organizers students will work on a short publication in an Estonian academic journal. After finishing the course in August 2020 students are encouraged to continue discussions and writing in a small group and finish the paper by late autumn 2020.

The Asia Centre of the University of Tartu:
The Asia Centre at the University of Tartu coordinates and develops research and teaching of Asian studies as a cooperation network between faculties. The aim of the Asia Centre is to make the Asian studies at the University of Tartu more visible and more beneficial for the society by arranging prestigious research events, developing the existing study modules, offering in-service training courses and popularising the acquired knowledge actively in the public. The Asia Centre at the University of Tartu attempts to involve all researchers, institutes and projects that deal with Asian themes in a broader or narrower sense into a cooperation network. The Centre forms a joint platform for these activities by uniting researchers within the University, contributing to the presentation of various research areas (Asian languages, Chinese and Japanese culture, Oriental religions, etc.) to the public and helping to find cooperation partners for launching research projects.

Course leader

Mari Mäesaar, mari.maesaar@ut.ee

Target group

The programme is designed for BA and MA level students, but we welcome applications from all adults including university students, professionals and other experts, regardless of educational background.

Course aim

The aim of the summer school is to contribute to the ongoing studies or previous experience of students interested in contemporary issues of Japan in the fields of history, education, politics and literature. As the focus of this summer school is on the personal development of the participant, the emphasis is on the interactive learning methods and the support of their interests and needs. At the time of the application, participants are requested to write 3 questions or topics they would like to discuss or focus on during the summer school which are then taken into account as much as possible.

Fee info

EUR 350: Programme fee includes tuition, cost of the study visits, cultural and social programme and services of the host university.

Students are responsible for their accommodation, travel and travel insurance (visa arrangements, if needed) from their home country to Tartu and back to their home country.