The 32nd Executive Committee meeting, held on November 17, began with the introduction of Ms. Maeda Tomoko, who joined the staff of the Secretariat in November. Her major role is to provide assistance for the International Symposium, but also to take over the duties of a staff member who is currently on maternity leave. Then, there was a report on the state of budget execution for this fiscal year. It was agreed that based on the state of budget execution by each section, the execution plan should be reviewed as soon as possible and that revisions should be made to the budget planning if necessary. In addition there was a report on the publication of the outcome of the Kyoto Workshop, which was held last year under the title, “Spinning from Fieldwork -- Process of Discovery and Analysis.”
As the Kyoto University International Symposium, “Coexisting with Nature in a ‘Glocalizing’ World” was to be held in Bangkok on November 23-24, just a week later, Associate Professor Takeda Shinya, a member of the Working Group, gave a report on the state of preparations. He stated that the number of registrations on the website was increasing steadily, with nearly 150 people being expected to participate. It was confirmed that in preparation for the symposium report, persons in charge of recording the event, including with video, would be appointed in advance, and that students participating in the Symposium and study tours would be required to present reports from the perspective of comparative area studies.
With regard to the International Symposium scheduled to be held in the final fiscal year of the Program, approval was given for entitling it “Developments and Prospects of Integrated Area Studies: In the Path of Human-Nature Coexistence in a ‘Glocalizing’ World.” The structure of the sessions will be as reported earlier, but it was agreed at this meeting that a “Video Recording session” and a few “satellite sessions” (provisional name) on different themes deeply related to specialized fields or regions would be newly planned, and that the recruitment of ideas and proposals would begin fairly soon. With regard to the outcomes of the Symposium and satellite sessions, it was proposed that efforts would be made to publicize them using existing forums such as a special issue of Asian and African Area Studies and ASAFAS Occasional Papers. It was decided that further discussions would be held to make concrete plans. Lastly, the amount of budgeting needed for all these plans was presented. It was agreed that we would work to acquire external funds and other means to ensure that the burden on the Program itself would not be excessive.
From the Public Relations Section, a report was given on the updating of the website, and a proposal was made to use the remaining budget to purchase equipment necessary for public relations and to enhance the English website. The reporter stated that the section would focus its work on building websites for the field stations and on creating English versions.
In terms of discussion items, the Research Promotion Section suggested the possibility to provide financial assistance for the printing costs of a doctoral dissertation, and proposed that publication plans for this fiscal year should be handled flexibly given the fact that there is little remaining time. These proposals were then approved. It was also confirmed that as the publication of many reports is expected in the final year of the Program, work should be done to ensure that much more funding than in previous years is provided for such projects. Approval was also given to providing financial assistance from the Program for the International Workshop on East Africa to be held in Tanzania in mid-December, though on a lower level than the initial application.
Finally, discussion was held on the questionnaire concerning the post-COE program issued by the Kyoto University’s Administration Bureau, and it was agreed that the Program would respond, stating that “we are considering a program that will succeed and further develop the current COE Program.” (Ichikawa)