Report on the 2021 Fellows Autumn Presentation Session

On September 24, 2022 (Saturday), the presentation session for the fellows of 2021 was held, continuing from the session held in the spring. Despite the heat from typhoon Talas, many of the 2021 and 2022 fellows, teachers, as well as foundation staff gathered in the hall. Due to circumstances, I had to return to my hometown immediately after submitting my PhD dissertation, and as such participated online. Because of this, I could get a closer look at the reaction of the teachers who were far away, and could compare my experience to that of participating in person in the spring session.

To start, Executive Director Atsumi Naoki gave the opening remarks and shared his expectations for the fellows given the upcoming 30th anniversary of the foundation. Hearing his remarks, I was once again reminded of the important support that the foundation provides for us scholars.

Next, following the introductions by the host for the event, Secretary General Tsunoda Eiichi, the seven fellows presenting shared the essence of their research. Unlike previous years where fellows were instructed to "preesent your research so that even a child could understand it in under 12 minutes," we were made to think about how in 15 minutes, we could effectively share the essence of our research with a general public. Up first, Chan Ya-hsun presented about "the connection between social problems and problems of the empire - insights into imperialism and the political subjectification of the population." Next, focusing on the reverse importation of Chinese classics in the 18th and 19th centuries, Chiang Hsun-yi spoke about the acceptance of Sorai's teachings in China during the Qing dynasty. Cho You-kyung discussed the poetics and politics of collage in 20th century music and presented about the various aspects of "engagement" theory and practice in the 1960s and 70s. Using Foucault's theory of power, Guo Lifu presented about social movements and politics involving sexual minorities in China.

After the break, I presented about the significance of the only existing United Nations cemetery (United Nations Memorial Cemetery) which was a remnant of the Korean War and serves as a living heritage, as well as its connection to Japan and Kyushu. Li Dian spoke about "TDP-43 safeguards the embryo genome from L1 retrotransposition." Li-san had included a barcode for his paper on the printout for his abstract, which I thought was a great source of research motivation. To end, Wang Xingfang presented about "Kokoromama no shakai" and political thought "the shift in modern Japan from the teachings of Sorai to Neo-Confucianism."

After the presentations, starting with comments from Prof. Mori Masatoshi and Prof. Kojima Tsuyoshi, we received words of support and useful feedback for our research from Prof. Tadashi Karube, Prof. Yoshida Hiroshi, Prof. Hirakawa Hitoshi, Prof. Ako Tomoko, Prof. Matsuda Akira, and Prof. Kataoka Tatsuji. Personally, the experience of having scholars from both the humanities and sciences exchanging comments left an impression on me. As an example, humanities scholar Chan-san remarked on Li Dian-san's research that it was "like finding a new star in the vast space." Science scholar Hilman-san, who had served as the host for Wang-san's presentation, said that Wang-san's research had provided him the opportunity to learn about Neo-Confucianism, a topic that he wasn't familiar with. In this way, the presentations and interactive feedback allowed us scholars to share our original research with a wider audience and expand our intellectual horizons.

To end, we had remarks from Advisor Atsumi Itsuko, following which the autumn presentation session for 2021 fellows came to a close. I would like to make use of this opportunity to offer my sincere gratitude to everyone at the Atsumi Foundation for the tremendous support and encouragement they have given me. From now on, with a sense of pride and identity in being Atsumi fellows, I would like for us to work towards international understanding and world peace through our research.

Text: Lee Chung-sun(2021)
Translation: Sonja Dale

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