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Transnational Studies - Japan and the World
About this courseSkip About this course
The contemporary world is marked by a curious state of tension. On the one hand, it is deeply globalized, with goods, people, culture and ideas circulating across borders on an unprecedented scale. Neither can two of the major crises we are facing, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, be contained on the level of individual states. Yet, nation states are still the most powerful political entities in the world, and nationalism is resurging, mobilizing the imagination and aspirations of people everywhere. Academic knowledge, too, is still often aligned with national borders and categories.
Transnational studies is an interdisciplinary field that lives in the interstices of this tension. It reflects on why the “nation” has come to have such a powerful grip on the human imagination and social organization. It offers approaches that follow the historical and contemporary movement of ideas, things, people and practices beyond (= “trans”) national borders, explores how they are transformed along the way, and analyzes what enables and limits these movements.
In this course, you will gain foundational knowledge about how to think transnationally. An initial module which introduces key concepts and approaches in transnational studies will be followed by four modules that use concrete case studies centered on Japan to spotlight how the transnational can be fruitfully employed across different disciplines, from history to sustainability studies. In doing so, the course offers foundational knowledge in how to navigate the complexities of our globalized world.
At a glance
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- Understand how the idea of nations structures movement and mobility in the contemporary world
- Understand how people, things and ideas flow and circulate across borders
- Analyze these flows on the material, conceptual and institutional levels
- Learn through four case studies how transnational analysis applies to Japan
- Employ questions from transnational studies in different disciplines from history to sustainability studies