Jul. 26, 2022
After nearly three years with no on-campus events due to COVID-19, the ITASIA Program hosted a special lecture on 22 July by Professor Anne Allison to commemorate our hopeful return to the classroom and resumption of in-person education. Professor Allison is a Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University and is currently a short-term visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo’s Interfaculty Initiative for Information Studies.
Professor Allison delivered a lecture based on her forthcoming book entitled “Being Dead Otherwise: The Sociological Promiscuity of New mortuary Trends in Japan.” Her research reveals how the modern mortuary system of family graves attended by kin is coming undone as a result of socio-economic shifts, such as a high aging/low childbirth population, decline in marriage and co-residence, irregularization of labor and the precaritization of life in contemporary Japan.
For the graduate students in the ITASIA Program, this was a rare opportunity to gather and meet together in-person. Masters students, who just completed their Final Examination earlier in the week, were able to celebrate and experience campus life. With nearly all of our students now currently in Japan, this event reminds us of the continuing importance of face-to-face communication.