What's New from the Secretariat June

The 39th meeting of the Executive Committee was held on June 15, which was, like the day of last month’s meeting, a rainy day. It began with a report on the meeting of leaders of 21st Century COE programs, held on June 7. It appears, as has been reported here previously, that the 21st Century COE program will be succeeded by one that aims to develop human resources who can carry out leading edge research, and that the number of projects under the new program will be cut from the current 254 to approximately 150. In addition, it was reported that the application process would begin around December of this year. In light of this, Kyoto University is planning to carry out a survey of the plans of various sections of the university at the end of June, and to ask them to prepare a preliminary application by the end of August. From then on, a process of coordination will take place within the university.

From the Research Promotion Section, Prof. KOSUGI Yasushi gave an introduction to the “Collection of Original Texts in Arabic,” which was published earlier. It is a selection of papers on political thought written in Arabic from the 8th to 20th century, and there are plans to introduce its contents on our website in the near future. In addition, there was a report from the Network Section on the workshop entitled “Inter-networking in area studies: results and foresights,” to be held on Friday, September 29 in a new ASAFAS facility in the main campus (former No.4 building of the Faculty of Engineering). As was reported in the last issue, the contents will include the use of methods such as GIS in area studies, the outcomes of various database projects, and the plans for a videoconference and panel discussion linking Kyoto and Ho Chi Minh City. Then, with regard to the Kyoto Symposium to be held in November, Dr. TAKADA Akira from the Working Group stated that a total of 44 would make presentations in the poster session, and that instructions for presenters at the main panel session, poster session, and satellite workshops had been formulated and sent to the authors. Presenters at the satellite workshops will only be asked to submit abstracts, and the deadline will be July 31. Those presenting at the main panel session and poster session will be asked to submit full papers, with the same deadline, except for native English speakers, for whom the deadline will be August 31. Among the applicants, there are students who wish to submit their papers to the special edition of Asian and African Area Studies featuring papers by graduate students, and it will clearly be a significant burden on them. However, I hope that they will endeavor to meet the guideline in order to ensure the success of the Kyoto Symposium. It was also confirmed that we would apply for an ISBN number for the symposium proceedings.

Dr. TAKADA Akira of the Public Relations Section reported on the updating of the website, stating that additional staffing will be required in order to upload information on the projects and activities of the final year of the program within the fiscal year. This will necessitate budget. However, the financial situation is extremely tight this fiscal year, so it will be necessary to use the budget as efficiently as possible and to make efforts to conserve funds. Also, from the Library Section, there was a request for funds to cover the costs for inventory control and label changes in preparation for the organizational change that will accompany the end of the program. In both cases, approval was given, as they are necessary expenses. In addition, it was also agreed that Ms. KINOSHITA, a librarian who is organizing the books for the 21st Century COE Program to arrange for their transfer, would attend meetings of the ASAFAS Library Committee. An announcement was made of the new book, Kyoto University Style Fieldwork, which was published as one outcome of the program, and on the possibility of selling it at the author’s discount rate.

Moving on to agenda items, there was discussion on the provision of financial assistance by the Research Promotion Section, and approval was given to provide funds for the costs of symposiums on area informatics, the publication of outcomes from a satellite workshop in visual anthropology, and costs for the publication of outcomes from the Tanzania FS and Zambia FS. In addition, funds were approved for the translation into English of the keynote speech manuscript (in Thai) of the lecture given by Prof. Nidhi Aeusrivongse of Chiang Mai University to the Kyoto University Symposium in Bangkok in November of last year, mainly under the sponsorship of the COE Program and ASAFAS. In terms of the method for publishing the speech, thought will be given to this in conjunction with the lecture given by Prof. ISHII Yoneo at the same symposium. Finally, with regard to the role of Ms. MARUYAMA Junko, who is going to join ASAFAS on July 1 as an assistant professor, it was agreed that for the time being, she will act as a member of the Working Group for the Kyoto Symposium. We have now entered the final fiscal year of the program, and I have great expectations of the young people who join us. (Ichikawa)

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