ICC Collaborative Research Projects for 2006-2007

The Sophia University Research Institute (SURI) is placing one of its top priorities in promoting collaborative research activities among scholars, organized and led by Sophia faculty members. The Institute of Comparative Culture (ICC), operating as a sub-organization under the SURI, would like to play a contributing role in promoting such activities and, hence, to solicit ICC members to submit collaborative-research proposals. This year's awardees are listed below.

ICC Mini-conferences for 2006-2007

Based on the decision made at the May 8th general meeting held in 2002, the Institute of Comparative Culture (ICC) established a small grant to support mini-conferences. This year's grant awardees are listed below.


James Farrerwith David Wank and Linda Grove

Food, identity and modernity in globalizing China

Food is one of the most important ways people express social identity in any society. China is a society with deep and varied culinary traditions. Regional identities, class distinctions and distinctions between tradition and modernity all are expressed through the consumption of different types of foods. In such a quickly modernizing society with rapidly changing status and class distinctions, the consumption of food also reflects changing conceptions of social identity. This research unit aims to document how food is used to express social identities in three distinct regions, Shanxi Province in Central China, villages on the rural North China plain, and urban Shanghai. The group's work will consist of three separate fieldwork case studies all focusing on a particular item. Each case study will focus on particular local products: traditional food products in Shanxi, daily household food consumption in rural Northern China, and international restaurant cuisine in Shanghai.

This project has developed to become an Joint Intra-university project to be awarded a fund from The Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan


Sorpong Peou with Koichi Nakano and David Wank

Human Security in East Asia: The Challenge for Collaborative Action

This study asks if collaboration among states, intergonernmental and non-governmental aetors is both possible and desireable. East Asia is the empirical focus of this investigation.

Decmber 3 (Sun)
Sophia University
Room 10-301
9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Dr. Oliver Richmond
Professor, School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews
Director, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies

Dr. Mely Caballero-Anthony
Assistant Professor, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University
Coordinator, Consortium of Non-Traditional Security Studies in Asia (NTS-Asia)


Lu Ding with
Emmanuel Cheron, Yoshitaka Okada, and Valerie Ozaki

Research unit on International Supply Chain Restructuring

This research unit aims to study the supply chain restructuring in the contemporary world economy, particularly in Pacific Asia. A major feature of the recent wave of globalization is international dierect investiment that reorganizes the value chains of production across national borders. In this process, international trade becomes increasingly driven by international specialization in different links on the value chain of production in the same industry. Outsourcing various segments of supply chains to other countries is now a buzzwrod for business success. Such intra-industry international specialization shapes a new pattern of international trade and investiment that is very differnt from the classical case of trade and investiment based on international specialization in the divisions of industries.

The result of this research was published as a working paper titled The Impact of China's Rising Trading Power on Japanese Industries


Mari Boyd

Samuel Beckett and the World Stage: Textuality and Performativity: A Symposium

To celebrate the achievements of Samuel Beckett, one of the most provocative dramatists of the 20th century. His absurdist drama has undeniably had a profound impact on contemporary Japanese and Asian theatre. The conference will address how theatre professionals in the West and Asia have responded to Beckett's textual experiments in silence, stillness, and absurdity and how Asian performative practices have enriched the staging of Beckettian plays.

January 13 (Sat) 2007,
Sophia University
Library Bldg #812


1. Phillip Zarrilli (virtual appearance): Professor at Exeter University. Directs and acts in THE BECKETT PROJECT. See www.phillipzarrilli.com
2. Patricia Boyette: Professor at University Wisconsin-Madison. Performs in THE BECKETT PROJECT. Will give a demonstration on the use of kalaripayatti, a yoga-based martial arts, as a training for Beckettian performance.
3. Betsuyaku Minoru (別役 実): The most famous living Japanese absurdist playwright. Artistic director at the Piccolo Theatre, Hyogo Prefecture
4. Sarah Jane Scaife: Lecturer of Theatre at Trinity College, Dublin. Will present the Irish approach to performing Samuel Beckett's theatre and hold an actors workshop.

A Proceedings of this conference can be obtained from the office of ICC.
Please email a request to diricc(at)sophia.ac.jp.
Free of charge.