The Curious Relevance of Japan

Remember when Japan was poised to rule the world at the end of the 1980s (probably not)? Since 1989 the dominant narrative of Japan has been one of decline and increasing irrelevance. There are elements of truth in this story. Japan is a much different place today than it was thirty-five years ago. And yet, Japan has also proved a model for East Asia and other developed nations, economically, politically, demographically, and in terms of grappling with security and environmental challenges.

This 15 hour workshop will occur over two days during which the participants will join our instructors in examining some of the essential aspects and issues in recent Japanese history. These will serve as the basis for discussion of how to integrate this knowledge into their teaching. Rather than specific lesson plans, the object of this workshop is to stimulate thought. To provide teachers the opportunities to make new connections and inject new content regarding the curriculum they are required to teach. Outside of class participants will be responsible for readings and reflections on what they’ve encountered.
This program will be led by Paul Dunscomb, Chair of the Department of History at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and by Melanie King, Art historian and educator.

Image: Tokyo Skytree, photo by Paul Dunscomb