Bridge Between Japanese Popular Culture and Language Teaching - Deadline Extended to 01/20/2024

deadline for submissions: 
January 20, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Katsuya Izumi / Trinity College

It has been challenging to maintain healthy enrollments in Japanese language courses at all college levels in the U.S. Although this problem is more serious in small liberal-arts colleges, state universities also have the same problem especially in their advanced Japanese courses. If we think about the prevalence of Japanese popular cultural products such as anime, manga, music, games, V-tubers, and traditional artifacts among college students in the United States, we cannot easily understand why the number of students who learn Japanese has been decreasing in many institutions. Admitting the difficulty of encouraging students to continue studying the Japanese language when they struggle with the complicated Japanese grammar rules and the endless number of kanji, many scholars/teachers of Japanese language and culture thus consider it worthwhile to think about how we can use Japanese culture courses and popular cultural products to gain or regain students’ interests in learning the Japanese language because students are attracted to various aspects and works of the culture.

This call for chapters invites contributors to introduce how scholars and teachers of Japanese language and culture can use Japanese popular culture and Japanese cultural courses to teach the language and to gain, sustain, and increase students’ interests in learning the language. The topics and the issues to address in this volume may include but are not limited to:

  1. Which animation works and/or manga would be useful to teach Japanese to students at any levels?
  2. Can we (or should we) use Japanese children’s literary works such as short stories and poems to teach Japanese at an elementary level?
  3. Which Japanese short stories or novels would be useful to teach advanced Japanese courses?
  4. Why would it be helpful (or not helpful) to use graphics such as Japanese films, Japanese videogames, and Japanese Youtubers/V-tubers’ clips?
  5. How should we use Japanese popular culture to sustain Japanese language programs?
  6. What materials can we use in Japanese culture courses and how can we use them to increase enrollments in Japanese language courses in the same institutions?
  7. Are there any Japanese popular cultural products that would be useful to teach kanji?

Please send a 300-400 word abstract and a CV by January 20, 2024, to Katsuya Izumi ( Selected authors will be notified by February 10, 2024, and will be invited to send a full-length chapter by June 30, 2024. Essays should be between 5,000-7,000 words. Cambridge Scholars Publishing is interested in publishing this volume.