American-British Studies Course
In the American-British Studies Course in the School of International Studies, in addition to the three key areas that provide indispensable knowledge about the “international community” and “Japanese culture” and improvement of “English language skills,” the course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the history, society, politics, economics and culture of America, Britain and other English-speaking countries. The student attempts to obtain dynamic research methods and a wide-ranging perspective as well as cultivating the qualities of true world citizens by being free from the conventional approaches of the conventional faculties.
- To develop a comprehensive understanding of American, British and other English-speaking countries.
- To obtain dynamic research methods and a wide-ranging perspective.
- To cultivate the qualities of true world citizens.
Philosophy and Goal of the Course
Communication in English does not consist of simply speaking English. In carrying out true communication, it is indispensable to have a deep understanding of the society where the language has been developed. In the American-British Course, a fundamental knowledge is established to make communication in English smoother by improving practical English communication skills as well as elaborately verifying how the British and American societies, culture and thinking are related to the international community.
We develop human resources who have a broad as well as deep knowledge of the social and cultural background of America, Britain and other English-speaking countries, and who have true cross-cultural communication skills based on human understanding. We cultivate “confidence” in the student which is indispensable for communication by providing learning opportunities from cultures of English-speaking countries while at the same time diffusing Japanese culture as well as encouraging the study of English-speaking countries from every aspect so that the student can play an active role diversely in a truly international field while still retaining a consciousness of one’s own identity.
In the first and second years, the student explores the cultures of English-speaking counties by carrying out fundamental studies on international studies and Japanese culture to identify and strengthen personal identity and by doing short language courses overseas. Additionally in the second year, the student attempts to independently establish future objectives by studying a wide range of specialized courses that assist in deepening the thinking process. Specialized courses include “American Politics & Foreign Policy” which questions American identity from a political and diplomatic viewpoint, “American/British Environmental Thought” which cultivates a deep understanding of the American and British mental background from a standpoint of environmental thought, and “American/British Media Studies” which questions American and British cultural and social structure based on various media such as movies and television.
Field of Study
In American and British Studies Course, the student undertakes a comprehensive study of the cultures of American, British and other English-speaking countries. By shedding light on the role of the culture and society of the English-speaking world from various aspects, each student independently establishes personal objectives and decides on a theme of study under the meticulous guidance of the faculty staff. Through this process of study, we believe the student will be able to build up a strong sense of identity that will then be useful to achieving meaningful and expressive communication in English-speaking countries and around the world.
Noteworthy Fields of Study and Faculty Staff Members
The faculty members for this course and their fields of study are as follows: Bunei Kohara (American culture and psychoanalytic criticism), Shohei Sato (history of the British Empire), David Kiyoshi Abe (American studies), Masami Raker Yuki (environmental literature and eco-criticism), Kana Oyabu (British immigration culture and children’s literature), Takuya Kubo (19th and 20th American novels and culture), Taku Yamamoto (19th century British novels and post-colonialism), Kuniko Izumi (American novels and feministic criticism), Andrew Beaton (American diplomacy), Hiroyuki Nemoto (sociolinguistics), John Ertl (anthropology). Besides these faculty members, a large number of classes are taught in English by other faculty members who have studied overseas and are active in the academic society in and outside Japan through publications, translation and oral presentations, members who have earned degrees in other countries, or members whose mother tongue is English.
Feedback from Students
The American-British Studies Course not only improves your English skills but also expands your knowledge of politics, economics, literature, and philosophy of American, British or other English-speaking countries to deepen the understanding of foreign cultures through area studies. It is full of unique specialized courses such as translation seminars, area studies and film critiques carefully taught by supportive professors versed in various fields of study. Moreover, as the laboratories have excellent facilities, we can concentrate and work actively on our studies in a comfortable environment. And above all, what is most attractive about this course is that you can study with interesting individuals.
In the American-British Studies Course, you can take a wide range of courses from literature to politics in addition to English. The best thing is that students of this course are all very motivated to learn English. Last summer we organized an English camp by ourselves. It is hard to improve English if you work alone. But in this course, we are encouraged and through friendly competition with others we all strive to do our best. The American-British Studies Course is where people who love English can challenge themselves and explores various things.
Careers after Graduation
Foreign affairs or foreign assistance organizations (after finishing graduate school), international organizations, national or local governments, foreign companies or Japanese companies that have overseas divisions, international NPOs or NGOs, mass media, teachers, graduate school, etc.
Bachelor: International Studies
Certifications: junior high school teaching category 1 (Japanese, Civics, English), senior high school teaching category 1 (Japanese, social studies, English), Japanese Language Education sub-major equivalent certification, interpreter-guide (after passing the appropriate national exam), interpreter (after passing the appropriate interpreter exam)
Course Credit System
In the second year, students form a foundation of ability to express information that is grounded in a deep understanding of Japanese culture and based on the three key areas; liberal arts subjects (“International Relations,” etc.), Japanese language subjects (“Introduction to the Modern Japanese Culture and Society,” etc.) and English communication subjects (“English Oral Communication,” etc.). From the third year on, the student works on specialized studies chiefly by taking specialized course subjects (“American Studies” and “British Regional Studies,” etc.). In the fourth year, the student takes “Seminar in American/British Studies,” and establishes an area of study and begins thesis writing in English.
Subjects Unique to the Course
“American/British Media Studies” (the second, third or fourth year): For example, motifs repeated in an American horror movie can be considered to be one message. The student rethinks of it in terms of race, war and political history viewpoints and analyzes the plot in detail to bring out the structure of American history and thought. “Translation Theory” (second year): Using part of a British or American novel or essay and with the student’s writing being corrected every day, the danger of just interpreting English superficially and the importance of getting into the head and mind of the writer and the difficulty of sending out the content in Japanese is explained. American/British Environmental Thought (third or fourth year): “Environment” is becoming a keyword in many fields of academic study. In this class, we look at the “environment” in a straightforward way and study how it has been positioned and how it has changed in the field of American and British society, history, thought and literature. Various recent ideas are also introduced to deepen the discussion.
Specialized Course Subjects
American Studies, British Studies, American Cultural Studies, British Cultural Studies, American/British Linguistic Studies, American/British Media Studies, American/British Environmental Thought, American/British Art & Culture, American Politics & Foreign Policy, Studies of American Economy, British Politics & Foreign Policy, Cultural Studies in the English-speaking World, Academic Writing, English Public Speaking, Global Topics in English, International Communication in English