Scholars from 3 Asian Top Communication Programs Met in Tokyo
Huai-Yu Chen / Campus Reporter
Aiming to strengthen the ties between important communication institutions in Asia, National Chengchi University (NCCU), the University of Tokyo (UT), and Seoul National University (SNU) participated in a trilateral symposium in Tokyo on November 24 and 25, 2017. More than 30 professors and students from the three universities gathered to share research ideas and experience under the theme of “Media in Globalized Asia.” The symposium was capped by a visit to the Huffington Post Japan, where the participants got a good grasp of the development of online journalism in Japan. The 2018 symposium will be held for the first time at NCCU, Taiwan.
Kaori Hayashi, an organizer of the symposium and an associate professor of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies and Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies
(III/ GSII) at the University of Tokyo said in the opening remarks that many questions in Asia remain unresolved and global interaction like this symposium will be beneficial in that people can learn from each other and face the problems together. Tsung-jen Shih (施琮仁), director of the International Cooperation Center of the College of Communication echoed the statement by saying: “People are talking about the Age of Asia and this symposium signifies how the best communication institutions in the three countries make an effort to advance communication research and strengthen mutual ties.”
The symposium started with a faculty session where professors presented their research. Combining historical analysis and social network analysis, Pai-lin Chen (陳百齡), a professor of the Journalism Department, introduced his research “Building Family History by Distributing Intelligence.” He also dazzled the audience with a long sheet of pedigree, which spans 150 years of a family’s history. Ting-yu Kang (康庭瑜), an assistant professor of the Journalism Department, talked about how Taiwanese female demarcated the boundary between good sexualization and “slut shaming,” which triggered intensive discussion in the audience.
An interactive poster session featuring student works was implemented in the afternoon of the 24th to encourage an in-depth interaction among participants, an innovative practice designed by an III/ GSII professor Shin Mizukoshi. For example, focusing on the idea of “immersive theater,” Ruo-ning Lin (林若寧) shared her script analysis of a Taiwanese screenplay—Amazing Grace. Furthermore, Yi-lin Tsai presented how the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was discussed on PPT, the largest and most popular bulletin board in Taiwan.
The poster session was followed by a fieldwork that brought the student participants to the streets around the University of Tokyo. The purpose of this activity was ice-breaking and to immerse participants with local people, as one of the symposium organizer Mizukoshi said, “we don’t want people to go home knowing nothing about where they’ve just visited.”
In the past, the UT and SNU took turns being the host of the symposium. NCCU joined as an invited guest in 2016 when the two universities celebrated its 20th year of relationship. This year, the College of Communication sent 7 delegates, including 3 professors and 4 students, for a full participation. Meng-shan Lee (李孟珊), a master’s student at NCCU and currently an exchange student in Tokyo, expressed her willingness to have more interaction between Japan and Taiwan in the future. Han-na Suh, a doctoral student at SNU and a participant of the symposium last year, said that she got lots of new information about the cross-cultural aspect of media and communication studies in these two days and looked forward to having more interaction with people from different Asian countries.