ICIS-Institute for Cultural Interaction Studies
Inheriting and Advancing the Global COE Program: A Leading Center of Excellence in Cultural Interaction Studies
In 2007, the Kansai University Education Center for Cultural Interaction was founded as a Global Center of Excellence (Global COE), following approval by the Ministry of Education and a five-year grant for its implementation. In 2009 this Center established the Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia (SCIEA), which has grown into an international association with 455 members from 24 countries and regions. The Center also contributed to the creation of a graduate major in East Asian Cultural Studies in the Kansai University School of Letters in 2008, which brought together graduate students from Japan and from other Asian countries. In 2011, this program was transferred to the Graduate School of East Asian Cultures. Since then, the program has trained and educated 88 graduate students; 35 have received a doctorate in cultural interaction studies, and many have obtained jobs at research centers in and outside of Japan. In 2012, the Graduate School of East Asian Cultures obtained a grant with the highest evaluation of “S” under the MEXT program (“a Grant for the Formation of a Center of Excellence for Graduate Schools”) and the Institute for Cultural Interaction Studies (ICIS) was established to succeed the Kansai University Education Center for Cultural Interaction. The ICIS is now located in the Institute of Oriental and Occidental Studies with the goal of expanding the research activities and international networks established during the five-year Global COE program. This move positions ICIS to enhance its status as an international research hub of Excellence for Cultural Interaction Studies and thereby to contribute to the future prosperity of Kansai University.