Message from the Coordinator

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Invitation to the First BRIT in East Asia: Fukuoka (Japan) - Busan (Korea) Maritime Border Tour

Against the background of the current “border studies renaissance” fashioned in North/South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Eurasia and East Asia have long been a vacuum in the “international” border studies community. Hokkaido University’s Slavic Research Center, regarded as one of the most active institutions on Eurasian area studies in the world, has decided to invite established but fragmented individual researchers working on Eurasia and East Asia border-related topics to create a research network for border studies. We have also organized a united forum and developed collective works in the theory-conscious framework of border studies and have coordinated the establishment of Japan International Border Studies Network (JIBSN) with local/central administrative practitioners. Border studies itself has yet to fully mature and needs a solid foundation to integrate fragmented regional facts. The urgent task at hand is to find and identify a theoretical tool so as to compare various approaches and expertise throughout the regions. Without this process, border studies, though endowed with rich and suggestive materials, will not be able to make a fruitful contribution as an interdisciplinary and multi-vectored field of research.

In order to engage more people in this new network and to advance it into a worldwide one, we are now preparing for a borderland symposium that will take place in November 2012 under the auspices of the prestigious Border Regions in Transition (BRIT). Day one and day two of the symposium will be held in the city of Fukuoka, Japan, followed by a field trip to Tsushima, a border island, on day three. On day four the symposium will conclude in Busan, Korea. The city of Fukuoka and Kyushu University have pledged their full support. Also, November is an ideal month for viewing sumo, Japanese traditional wrestling, in the city. Dongseo University in Busan is pleased to host the last part of this symposium. With local support, our program will be realized an epoch-making event, especially in cooperation with distinguished Eurasian border researchers and with institutions from Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, China and Russia.

With the cooperation of the border cities of Fukuoka and Busan, the first East Asian BRIT will truly be a historic event. I wish to warmly invite all researchers with an interest in border studies to join us for this historic event.

Akihiro Iwashita, LL.D.

Coordinator of the BRIT XII
Professor, Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan
Project Leader of Global COE program “Reshaping Japan’s Border Studies”

>>>>>Call for papers (The deadline for paper submissions is now closed)

>>>>>Online Pre-Registration (closed)

>>>>>BRIT XII Pre-Seminar “Maritime Border Issues in Northeast Asia” (June 15, 2012, Washington DC)

>>>>>BRIT XII Global COE Program "Reshaping Japan's Border Studies" Summer Program 2012: Special Session "On the Road to BRIT XII: The Making of a Worldwide Community of Border Studies" (July 31, 2012 at Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University)

>>>>>Article on the stories behind BRIT XII 2012 by Prof. Akihiro Iwashita (starting from page 15)

>>>>>Speech Proposing the Next BRIT 2012 in Japan and Korea, September 9, 2011, Grenoble, France

>>>>>Hokkaido University Global COE program “Reshaping Japan’s Border Studies”

Akihiro Iwashita

Slavic Research Center,
Hokkaido University