ASIEN: Japanese Foodscapes in Berlin: Teaching Research Methods Through Food

As the third anniversary of this blog and project went by quietly, the creative effort students, guests and the instructor have put into the method lessons and seminars time and time again bears its fruit in forms beyond the posts here; it is introduced in issue no. 149 „Fieldwork in Japan: New Trends and Challenges“ of ASIEN The German Journal of Contemporary Asia (2018, edited by Cornelia Reiher) setting an example as to how method education in Japanese Studies can be accomplished through the study of food. The abstract reads:

This paper introduces research and fieldwork methods education for Japanese Studies students at Freie Universität Berlin. It aims to support training in research design, research methods and fieldwork in and beyond Japan in order to respond to the increasing demand for systematic and transparent research practices in Japanese Studies and Area Studies communities. Drawing on Berlin’s vibrant Japanese foodscape this course provides students with opportunities to plan and conduct research projects on various aspects of Japanese food. Students present their research results and reflections on methods and fieldwork in video tutorials online through the course blog. Based on my experiences with teaching this course for four years, I suggest that in order to teach a successful method course in Japanese studies programs, it is important to 1) inspire students to conduct their own fieldwork, 2) provide opportunities for students to actively participate in the course and decision-making processes with regard to the syllabus and 3) make students’ results visible in order to build a body of knowledge other students can draw on. In doing so, the course contributes to a more systematic method training in Japanese Studies through continuity.

Please find the full article here.
The complete issue, filled with more interesting articles on Fieldwork in Japan can be accessed from the Homepage of the German Association of Asian Studies (DGA).

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