Department of Cultural Management

About Department of Cultural Management

Culture cultivates a richness in humanity by fostering creativity and sensibility, creates new values for future societies, and it forms the basis of a “convivial” society by promoting mutual understanding and empathy between people with different cultural backgrounds.
The three courses under the Department of Cultural Management employ distinct approaches specific to the scope of each course in order to proactively research cultural phenomena that are often neglected by traditional academic disciplines, thereby nurturing a deep understanding and analytical capabilities with regard to culture, which is a requirement of modern society. In addition to promoting strict academic research and cultivating talented scholars, based on deep insights into culture, this department trains graduate students who will be responsible for addressing the complex issues of modern society and contribute to our advanced 21st-century society through exploring and exploiting the transformative potential of diverse cultural phenomena within society. The Department of Cultural Management has three major areas of education and research: the exploration of new cultural representations, the promotion of “convivial” cultural coexistence in the era of globalization, and the utilization of cultural resources to lead economic development. Through education and research in these areas, the department aims to developing cultures that can thrive in advance 21st-century societies. The department is comprised of three courses: Culture and Representation, Asian Culture, and Cultural Resources.


Culture and Representation

Culture and Representation

As the name “Culture and Representation” implies, this course is both a section within OMU and an approach to research on culture.
While of course all areas of research in the humanities are concerned with the “cultures” created by human beings in some way, Culture and Representation takes a stance that differs from conventional cultural studies in certain ways as detailed below.

1.Perspectives on transnational cultural dynamism

In conventional fields of academic inquiry in the humanities such as English literature, German literature, French literature, Chinese literature, and Japanese literature, the linguistic and cultural spheres on which it depends primarily serve as frameworks that demarcate different areas of research. This approach to cultural studies based on national languages implicitly presupposes the framework of the modern nation-state and relies on normative cultural concepts associated with the canon or classical literature of the national culture. However, today’s globalization has brought about an increase in the mobility of the individuals and groups who manifest a given culture, creating a dynamism of cultural production that lies beyond the scope of the conventional nation-state framework. Culture and Representation by no means excludes the study of cultural phenomena that are limited to within a specific linguistic or cultural sphere; however, one of the significant features of this approach is that it enables us to adopt a perspective that allows research across multiple linguistic and cultural spheres. This position derives from research that has been conducted thus far in the form of comparative cultural and comparative literature studies. We aim to update and develop these existing areas of research while actively absorbing influences from diverse theories that consider the dynamics of transnational culture.

2.Perspectives on diverse forms of expression

In conventional fields within the humanities, cultural activities formed by language have become the central object of research as texts. In contrast, Culture and Representation extends the scope of these objects of analysis beyond cultural expressions based on language to include cultural phenomena that depend on all kinds of media including images, sounds, and physical expressions.
However, this does not mean that forms of expression based on writing do not constitute a central object of research. This approach has some overlap with the intended meaning of the term “representational culture,” which has been widely used in recent years. This perspective on these diverse forms of representation also includes a comparative approach. For example, the approach used by Culture and Representation would include comparative studies of expressive and perceptual forms, thus examining the differences between novels and games, or theater and film.

3.Perspectives on popular culture phenomena

As already mentioned, conventional cultural studies have been premised on normative cultural concepts (the canon or classical texts of a national culture) alongside the concept of the nation-state. In this way, the conventional humanities have accorded privilege to objects that are essentially regarded as “high culture” or “art.” In this respect, Culture and Representation seeks to expand the objects and approaches of research; this means that phenomena such as subcultures, pop cultures, fashions, advertisements, and physical expressions, which have been overlooked as cultural objects by conventional humanities, become important objects of research. We also explore suitable methodologies for considering such objects. Thus, Culture and Representation is deeply connected to the perspective adopted by cultural studies. However, our approach also does not exclude the study of what is considered to be “high culture” if it is approached in terms of representation.

4.Contemporary and theoretical perspectives

Another important feature of Culture and Representation is that cultural phenomena with a certain degree of historicity are not simply studied as a thing of the past; rather, they are examined with a perspective that seeks to connect them to contemporary reality. In this sense, contemporary critical and cultural theories are not only considered as something that one must always return to from a research standpoint but also become objects of research in and of themselves.

5.Culture and Representation Classes

Students in the master’s program in Culture and Representation take the modules Advanced Studies in Culture and Representation and Advanced Studies and Seminar in Culture and Representation. In these classes, students study and discuss works and theories based on faculty members’ areas of expertise. Master’s program students will also take classes in other disciplines, as they acquire the knowledge necessary for writing their master’s thesis. Lectures taught by part-time lecturers are also available, providing students with the opportunity to learn in fields not covered by faculty staff. Doctoral students primarily work on independent research with supervision by faculty staff. Doctoral students will typically present their research at academic conferences and write papers for academic journals, working toward completing their doctoral theses. All graduate students participate in the module Comprehensive Studies in Culture and Representation, which provides an opportunity for them to report on their individual research topics. All members of the faculty staff participate in this class and advise individual graduate students on their research, thereby ensuring that students receive supervision from multiple staff members.

6.Career paths following graduation

Many alumni of the master’s program go on to find employment at general companies, teaching at academic institutions, or in the public sector. Others choose to proceed to the doctoral program. Students who have completed the doctoral program go on to postdoctoral positions with the aim of working in research or to work for organizations such as NPOs.

If you are considering to do your postgraduate study, please feel free to contact the faculty staff by email.
The email addresses of the relevant staff members can be found on this page.


Culture and Representation

The Culture and Representation course publishes a peer-reviewed journal Culture and Representation as an academic journal that presents research findings on culture and representation from faculty staff and graduate students. Culture and Representation is available in the OMU’s institutional repository.

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Asian Culture

Asian Culture

The Asian Culture course provides students with an opportunity to engage with education and research on current affairs and issues relating to the leveraging of culture for practical purposes and resolve issues in Asia, including Japan, from a comparative cultural perspective. The course also enables students to reflect on specific policies and theoretical formulations regarding the leveraging of cultures rooted in the region. Alongside, students will study methods to understand the diverse cultures of different regions within Asia and conduct regional and comparative cultural studies, all of which will serve as a basis for leveraging cultural assets as described above.

To achieve these aims, the course is centered on three key concepts: regions, coexistence, and comparison. The term “regions” refers to spaces with regional characteristics that have created diverse cultures or where cultural assets are being leveraged in new ways. To understand a culture, one must first understand the region that gave rise to that culture and the related cultural phenomena, rather than just considering that culture in isolation. “Coexistence” refers to a state in which diverse cultures live alongside one another, and the value system of seeking to move toward such a state. Issues relating to coexistence play a major role in the Asian region, such as coexistence between diverse cultures, and between tradition and modernity. Clinging to one particular idea of culture can only lead to cultural conflicts and clashes. How can we build cultures that coexist? As we seek to understand Asia, we must always remain oriented toward coexistence. “Comparison” is also an important perspective for understanding Asian culture. Seeking to understand a culture from a single perspective can lead to bias. We must instead seek to relativize our perspective through engaging in diverse comparisons: between regions, between the past and the present, and between the cultural phenomena that we study.

Students in this course will consider the leveraging of cultural assets according to the characteristics of different regions and communities based on the three concepts highlighted above. There are a wide variety of scenarios in which cultural assets are leveraged in contemporary Asia. For example, cultural assets may be used in creating a business as a means to attract customers, as a soft power asset to be used with other countries, or as a foundation for achieving a society based on coexistence. Leveraging cultural assets based on regional characteristics is an important issue that extends beyond the Asian region to have application in contemporary society as a whole. As such, the educational and research activities of this course will make a significant contribution to resolving issues in contemporary society.

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Cultural Resources

Cultural Resources

The study of cultural resources, from which this course takes its name, is a new area of academic inquiry that has been the subject of systematic research since the beginning of the 21st century. The term “cultural asset” generally tends to be thought of in terms of archaeological and historic sites and famous works of art, including items of cultural heritage typified by national treasures and important cultural properties. Other graduate schools with similarly named courses do indeed tend to focus their education and research activities on approaches to documenting and preserving these kinds of cultural assets. In contrast, Cultural Resources at OMU finds value in resources in a much wider range of cultural assets, providing students with the opportunity to consider theory and practice for the purpose of actively utilizing cultural assets in society.

This Cultural Resources course takes a wide range of cultural resources as objects of study. In addition to cultural heritage and other historical and artistic assets as mentioned above, within the scope of our inquiry we include the most recent cultural products that are in the process of being created in the present. Students will not only study cultural phenomena in terms of tangible objects that are within the scope of art history (i.e., paintings, sculptures, and architecture) and within the scope of geography and urban planning (i.e., historical cityscapes) but also intangible cultural phenomena such as theatrical performance in Asia and the West, drama performances, art projects, workshops, and sightseeing guided tours. Specifically, students will progress with their research with a focus on cultural resources related to the arts (especially fine art, music, and theater) and tourism (tourism and regional development), as well as the planning and practice needed for leveraging these kinds of cultural assets within communities.

An outline of the main modules offered in this course is provided below. Cultural Management Studies C is a joint module with the Department of Cultural Management, which provides master’s students with fundamental knowledge in the research fields and methods of the course. There are also lectures and seminar modules in specialist areas of the course, such as International Cultural Resource Studies, Art and Cultural Resource Studies, Tourism and Cultural Resource Studies, and Social and Practical Cultural Resource Studies. These specialist modules will provide students with a wide range of knowledge regarding approaches to cultural resources and their utilization and guidance in methods for handling cultural resources. Doctoral students will receive support with their research activities as they work toward writing a doctoral thesis, primarily through the modules Specialized Study of Cultural Resources and Supervision of Doctoral Thesis in Cultural Resource Study.

Our faculty staff have expertise in a range of specialist fields, including theater studies, representational culture theory, art history, museum studies, tourism, sociology, art therapy, and art management. Graduate students in the course have similarly diverse backgrounds and research interests, and many of them are mature students. A main feature of the course is that it provides an educational and research environment with a focus on interdisciplinarity and information exchange centered on cultural resources as a unifying theme, while also having a solid grounding in traditional fields of academic inquiry.

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