June 2011
International Symposium ‘Remembering 40 Years Since Reversion’ Executive Committee

International Symposium ‘Remembering 40 Years Since Reversion’:
“Okinawan Studies Until Now, Okinawan Studies From Now On”


Our objectives in opening this symposium are, 1) to offer an opportunity for dialogue among pioneering and young researchers of Okinawan Studies from Japan and overseas, 2) to grasp interdisciplinarily and holistically both the standard of research within Okinawan Studies, and the challenges the field has faced so far, and 3) to contribute to the development of Okinawan Studies from here on.

This symposium has the two following points of significance.

Firstly, due to the rapid spread of globalization, the role of nation-states and the order of international society are now being questioned anew from their very foundations. This situation mirrors the questions with which Okinawan Studies has struggled. Therefore, it is the role of Okinawan Studies to respond to the demands of the times, by providing new knowledge to resolve the many problems faced in this globalized society.

Secondly, area studies in Japanese universities are undergoing development, and until now, Okinawan Studies has existed as one such area. However, despite the fact that dialogue among scholars of different research fields is necessary to challenge the multilayered problems faced by contemporary society, the framework of area studies only makes such dialogue more difficult. The new possibilities for Okinawa Studies in the future lie in using Okinawa as an intermediary to break through the frameworks of each research discipline and advance an interdisciplinary approach.

This symposium places interest upon interdisciplinary approaches on Okinawa. We hope it will provide a space for the presentation of various research based on dialogues between the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and on such themes as war memories, oral history, Okinawan independence, East Asia and Okinawa, performing arts as a force of cultural negotiation, and much more. While respecting the achievements that Okinawan Studies has made thus far, we welcome young ideas that traverse existing fields of research.

During its three-day program, this symposium will include a keynote lecture, panel discussions (applications now open), and a performance of kumiodori, a form of Okinawan musical drama, which was selected to become an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.

This symposium welcomes participation not only by scholars, researchers, and students of Okinawan Studies but also by the public, and hopes to provide an opportunity from our current position to reflect back on Okinawa’s past, reconsider its present, and think about its future.

Panel Sessions and Individual Presentations [Call for Papers]

We are now calling for presenters for the International Symposium ‘Remembering 40 Years Since Reversion’, which will be held at Waseda University over 3 days, on 29th, 30th, and 31st March 2012. The overall theme is, “Okinawan Studies Until Now, Okinawan Studies From Now On.” The conditions for applying are explained as follows.
After referring to the important notes below, please send your applications by the appointed deadline to the symposium organizers. We hope to hear from many of you soon.

[Important Notes]

1. Eligibility: Anyone whose research relates broadly to Okinawa is eligible to apply. We welcome applications from graduate students and young researchers.

Presentation Topics: We welcome papers grounded in the accumulation of existing research on Okinawa, multidisciplinary research requiring interdisciplinary dialogues, and original research that carries significance so far overlooked by previous research frameworks.

A list of example topics is provided in the keywords below.


Okinawa as subjectivity/ Traditional arts and modern art/ Military base economy and culture/ The memory and dream of reversion/ Sexuality and ethnicity/ Japanese government and Okinawan government/ Sustainability development, tourism, and autonomy/ Literary realities, political imaginations/ Language and community/ Translating postcolonial experience/ Post-Okinawan Promotion Plan / Okinawa in the media, Okinawa as media/ Writing women’s histories/ Post-3/11 and Okinawa, etc.

2. Time: Each session will last 2 hours. Each presenter should have approximately 40 minutes, including time for comments and questions.

3. Structure of panels and individual papers: Please see below.

[Panel Sessions]

  • Group applicants are required to arrange a topic, presenters, and a discussant for their panel.
  • Sessions are expected to consist of 3 presenters and 1 discussant, or 2 presenters and 2 discussants, although alternative structures may also be possible. However, each session must have a “representative,” who is responsible for the panel, and a “chair”.
  • The same person is permitted to act as both representative and chair. Representatives and chairs may also take part in their panel as either presenters or discussants.
  • Each panel representative is responsible for relaying messages from the organizers to the other members of their panel.
  • The role of each chair is to chair their own session and be a timekeeper for their panel.

[Individual Papers]

  • The organizers will arrange papers subscribed individually into panels based on the subject of each paper.
  • The organizers will select a discussant and chair for panels made up of individual papers.

4. Language: Japanese & English. However, simultaneous translation will not be provided.

5. Panel length: The timing of sessions is subject to change depending upon the organization of panel sessions and individual papers.

6. Equipment: In principle, the organizers can only provide projectors for panel use. Presenters are requested to please bring their own PC/ laptops. Any presenters who wish to use other equipment, such as DVD players or speakers, should please consult the organizers separately.

7. Since the capacity of the venue is limited, in the event of large numbers of applicants it may be necessary for the Executive Committee to reorganize some aspects of the Symposium. We ask for your understanding should such a situation arise.

[How to Apply & Deadline for Applicants]

1. Application forms are available to download from the following URL:

For Panel Sessions | For Individual Papers

2. Please email completed forms to the Executive Committee at this address:
kikaku.okinawa(a)gmail.com (Please replace (a) with @ before sending)

Please mark all applications with the relevant email subject chosen from the following:

(1) For Panel Sessions: “Application for Panel Session”

(2) For Individual Papers: “Application for Individual Paper”

3. The deadline for all applications is no later than midnight (local Japanese time) on 31 August 2011.

4. The Executive Committee will announce its selected panels on Monday 31 October 2011.

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