** This event now concluded.
- Date: Friday, June 18, 5:30-6:45 am (EDT)
Friday, June 18, 6:30-7:45 pm (JST)
Speaker: Yasushi WATANABE (Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies,
Keio University ; Director, International House of Japan)
- Dialogue with: James KONDO (Chairman, International House of Japan)
- Venue: Online
*Log-in Details will be sent via email.
- Language: Japanese (without interpretation)
- Admission: Free (registration required)
I-House is hosting a series of special, members-only lectures featuring world-renowned guest speakers. In June, we will welcome Prof. Yasushi Watanabe, a cultural anthropologist and an expert in American studies.
The United States is a country of immigrants and has developed a unique culture through the assimilation of peoples from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. There has been increasing backlash against minority groups in recent years, however, as evinced by growing white supremacist rhetoric and the embrace of an America First policy, leading to social fragmentation and unrest. Ethnic tensions have triggered large-scale “Black Lives Matter” protests and hate crimes against Asian residents.
In his lecture, Professor Watanabe will offer a broad and insightful analysis of the various factors that have fueled these developments, which he believes also offer pertinent lessons for Japan. In the latter half of the session, I-House Chairman James Kondo will join Professor Watanabe for a dialogue on ways to address the increasing polarization of society. There will also be a question-and-answer session, during which the panelists will respond to questions posed by members when they register.
After graduating from Sophia University, Professor Watanabe earned a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Harvard University. After conducting post-doctoral research at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, he joined Keio University’s Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC). He has also held research and/or teaching positions at Harvard and Peking Universities and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris（Sciences Po). Areas of specialization include American studies, cultural policy, public diplomacy, and cultural anthropology. He won the Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities for Afuta Amerika: Bosutonian no kiseki to “bunka no seijigaku” (After America: Trajectories of the Bostonians and the Politics of Culture, Keio University Press, 2004) based on interviews with white Americans. He conducts multilayered research and offers policy proposals on cultural and diplomatic issues, drawing on observations gleaned from interviews with people living in the community and examining the possibilities of public diplomacy in an increasingly diverse and globalized society. He also lends his expertise to foreign policy think tanks. He is the author of Bunka to gaiko: Paburikku dipuromashi no jidai (Culture and Diplomacy: The Age of Public Diplomacy, Chuokoron-Shinsha, 2011), Bunka o toraenaosu: Karuchuraru sekyuriti no hasso (Rethinking of “Culture”: On the Concept of Cultural Security, Iwanami Shoten, 2015) and other books. His most recent publication is Hakujin nashonarizumu: Amerika o yurugasu “bunkateki hando” (White Nationalism: The Cultural Backlash that Rocked America, Chuokoron-Shinsha, 2020).