Network Studies

Contact Person: Bettina Gramlich-Oka (*4065;

Goal and Purpose:

The ICC unit, which was initiated in 2010 (please see Network studies HP), analyzes cross-cultural networks. As a start-up project we discuss the available theories, methods, and models for our network analysis. This knowledge serves as our foundation for our first focus, on the early modern period in Japan, an understudied era in regards to network analysis. The project “Intellectual Networks in Early Modern Japan and Beyond” focuses on various groups with an integrative analysis of a wide variety of writings. The conclusions will enhance our understanding of both the political realm, which informed policies ordered by the shogunate and the domains of the regional rulers (daimyo), and the practical realm of how these networks operated. The results will emphasize the traffic of ideas and endeavors among people from various backgrounds and stations in life beyond narrow geographic borders.

Activities in Past and Future:

In 2013 the research unit has been active in various forms: (Please refer to our HP, see link above, for details)

a. The unit meets monthly as a reading group, in which primary sources are read.
b. The unit hosted June 8th, 2013 an International Symposium with an audience of about 100.
c. With the help of research assistants the prosopographical database is continuously fed.
d. The database undergoes constant improvement including the visualization. Two programmers are working on the frames.
e. The project was represented in 2013 at the following venues (mostly outside of Sophia):

・Bettina Gramlich-Oka, “Frauen (widerstrebend) unterwegs im 19. Jahrhundert,” presented at the OAG (Tokyo, Japan), 01.2013
・Bettina Gramlich-Oka, “Confucian Rituals as a means of political reforms,” presented at the JETTS, Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan), 03.2013
・Bettina Gramlich-Oka, Discussant of Panel “Chasing fireflies: Glowing networks in post/modern Japanese art and literature,” at AAS, San Diego (CA, USA), 03.2013.
・Bettina Gramlich-Oka, “Tadano Makuzu and the Lack of the Right Network,” presented at International Symposium Women and Networks in Nineteenth Century Japan, June 8, 2013, Sophia University.
・Bettina Gramlich-Oka, “Network Studies,” Lecture presented at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, 06.2013.
・Bettina Gramlich-Oka, “Creating Cultural Space: A List,” presented at the New Zealand Conference for Asian Studies, Auckland, New Zealand, November 2013.
・Bettina Gramlich-Oka, “Knowing the [Confucian] Way,” to be presented at Symposium of Early Modern Japan Europe, Kientzheim, France, December 2013.

In 2014

a. The unit will continue the monthly meetings
b. The publication of an edited volume generated from the International Symposium (June 2013) is in planning. Michigan University Press has shown strong interest, and a Japanese version is also being considered. In order to come out with a strong, coherent edited volume with one common focus and theme, a workshop is planned for 2014.
c. The database will grow further (at this point 1800 persons are stored) and the visualization will become more elaborate.
d. Cross-collaboration and fertilization with the unit on Urban Studies (leader Christian Hess) will be advanced in order to apply in the future for a large project fund. One half-day workshop is planned for 2014 to sketch out the details.

Research Unit Members
Faculty members: Mathew Thompson, Christian Hess, David Slater, David Wank.
Further members of this research group include scholars from Tōkyō and vicinity, such as Linda Grove, Thomas Harper, Kate Nakai, Gaye Rowley, and Fumiko Umezawa.