Department of Language and Culture
About Department of Language and Culture
This department aims to fundamentally explore – through language – the entire spectrum of cultural phenomena related to language, in other words, language, literature, culture and other related fields. As a new field of expertise able to answer to the cultural conditions of the modern age that bridges across various regions, courses in this department will realize education and research suited to an urban, information-oriented, global age by further adding the fields of Applied Linguistics in addition to the basic fields of study characterized by country and language. Western classics and languages are also included in the department in order to cultivate a wider perspective on the world in addition to the core knowledge shared by all courses in the department. Courses in this department aim towards a comprehensive study of language and culture with an emphasis on the mutual relationship between various fields of study. At the same time, these courses will cultivate individuals with a sharp sense of language and language application skills, equipped with the ability to act in a global society. This department consists of the following courses based on academic focus and research methodologies: Japanese Language and Literature, Chinese Linguistics and Sinology, English and American Language and Literature, German Language and Literature, French Language and Literature, and Linguistics Applied.
Japanese Language and Literature
This course provides a space for students to broaden their knowledge and perspectives on Japanese language and literature and engage in research on a deeper level. The academic staff currently consists of five members: Mayuko Yamamoto (Ancient Literature), Naoki Kobayashi (Medieval Literature), Hiroaki Kubori (Early Modern Literature), Kumiko Okuno (Modern Literature), and Tetsuya Niwa (Japanese Linguistics).
Language and literature change with the times. Particularly, in today’s ever-changing world, the world of the classics seems to be ever more distant. Nonetheless, the fundamentals of language have remained stable, and the core of human emotions and perspectives have remained largely the same since ancient times; there are many points of commonality between then and now. This course emphasizes the importance of understanding the characteristics of a given text from the perspectives of the historical development of language and literature and the different historical phases of regions and genres, thus considering the essential aspects that transcend these boundaries.
For students to gain a sense of these essential aspects, they must focus on specifics. Students will need to start with the following kind of approach to empirical research. For literature, they must carefully and methodically investigate and consider factors such as the text, author, and historical background of a work, and in terms of the language, they must apply a similar method to individual linguistic phenomena. Students will also need a wealth of ideas and creativity to approach a given work, and the goal of the course is to enable students to engage in research that balances both of these aspects.
As part of the research guidance in the master's course and the dissertation guidance in the doctoral course, students are required to give presentations on their research topics (a work of literature or linguistic phenomenon). In addition to concrete analyses (precise textual reading/annotation, usage example examinations), they are also expected to present the meaning of such individual analyses in their overall research topic. Based on such presentations, faculty members and students engage in discussions. The accumulation of these efforts will bear fruit in the form of a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation. The master's program also offers classes that cover each period of the Japanese language and Japanese literature. The basic approach is the same here, with an emphasis on presentations and discussions (and reports as the culmination of those discussions). Of course, because these are classes, they are also for studying fields other than one's own. It goes without saying that to deepen one's research in a specialized field, it is necessary to broaden and deepen knowledge of adjacent fields. Students will have the opportunity to be stimulated different fields' different ways of thinking and focusing.
Other than classes, there is an opportunity to present research at the Osaka Metropolitan University's Society for Japanese Language and Literature. Also, graduate students give presentations and discuss these presentations at biannual events.
A typical career path for graduate students on this course is to work at a university as a researcher or to become a teacher at a high school or junior high school. Of course, some undergraduate students who wish to become high school or junior high school teachers will do so directly after graduating from an undergraduate program. However, there are also many who become teachers after completing the master’s program and obtaining a professional license.
We publish our research in Research in Japanese Literary History (first pub. 1955).
Chinese Linguistics and Sinology
This course systematically studies Chinese literature, language, and culture, training specialized researchers and highly-skilled professionals who have acquired a broad background in Chinese studies. Faculty members' research fields include contemporary Chinese culture (films), Tang dynasty literature, usage/vocabulary, and literary history/phonological history. Each conducts research from their own unique perspective. In the master's program, students are required to lay the foundation for their research by first experiencing the depth and diversity of the field of China. In the Ph.D. program, they take one step further and make their own broad research questions clearer, and start full-fledged research activities. While taking the initiative to actively engage in various research activities, such as critical examinations of existing scholarship, research presentations and discussions rooted in their broad research concerns, and reading groups that focus on precisely and accurately reading texts, it is most important that they learn research methods.
There are many international graduate students from China in this course. They are achieving great results, boldly engaging in new topics that they could not have even been aware of during their four years of university life in China. We also have graduate students who are working adults. While leveraging their long experience working in China-related jobs, they receive advice from their advisors and write their theses. Young undergraduate and graduate students find great inspiration in this. Our course continues to be a place for open research that transcends nationalities and generations.
Since 1986, we have published Journal of Chinese Studies yearly. In 2002, it received the Rohoku Prize. It is highly regarded as an academic journal. In addition, after an issue is published, graduate students organize an event to review its content.
Academic Society Activities
The Society of Chinese Studies meets in July and December. While it functions mainly as an opportunity for graduate students and alumni to present their research, it is also a place where researchers from other universities give lectures and offer their expert knowledge.
English and American Language and Literature
The English and American Language and Literature Course established a master's program in 1953 and a doctoral one in 1955. It has produced many outstanding researchers, contributing considerably to the academic world. Research is being carried out on a variety of topics: Shakespearean theater's adaptation and the societal nature of Victorian literature (English literature), novel techniques (American literature), English and American culture ideology (English and American literature ), and analysis of the English language (English linguistics).
In addition to research materials related to the above topics, the library also has a large collection of scholarship related to the study of Romanticism and modern/contemporary poetry (English literature), and Black literature (American literature). There are also original and reprints of popular magazines, as well as academic journals from Europe and the United States. Graduate students' topics in recent years include: the adoption of Shakespeare in silent films; the fluctuating image of the gentleman in the works of Dickens; the conflict between order and passion in the works of Charlotte Bronte; the representation of ethnicity in African-American literature; diachronic changes in the passive voice, active voice, and tense; transitivity in English grammar, the concepts of gender and number in nouns and their changes.
Many former students now engage in education and research as university faculty, or work as English teachers at high schools. However, they are also active in various other spheres at companies.
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.
QUERIES is published every year as the official journal of the English Literature Society of Osaka Metropolitan University (formerly known as the English Literature Society of Osaka City University). It presents the results of a wide variety of research.
Academic Society Activities
The English Literature Society of Osaka Metropolitan University (formerly of Osaka City University) consists of current and former faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The society actively holds research presentations, symposiums, and lectures in Anglo‒American literature and culture, English linguistics, and English language education. The society also serves as an alumni association, providing a space for a wealth of interaction among not only same-year students, but also faculty, alumni, and senior and junior students.
German Language and Literature
This course's research covers the German language itself and German-language literature and culture. German-speaking countries include Germany as well as Austria and Switzerland. Germany is often associated with politics and economics as the driving force of the EU, Austria brings to mind ancient traditions and culture, and Switzerland is known for its beautiful natural environment. However, those considering graduate school already know that these images are one-dimensional. German-speaking countries share the same mother tongue but value their differences. While firmly retaining their dialects and unique cultural characteristics, they have stimulated each other and formed a unique non-material culture. This singular yet diverse non-material culture is not only a different culture but also a very interesting subject for research when considering the future of a globalized world from a humanities perspective.
In research, it is essential to pay attention to not only language skills but also focus on multiple regions, times, and fields/spheres. No matter the topic --literature, culture, language, thought --one cannot think about it in isolation. Faculty members specialize in contemporary German-language literature and culture, modern German-language culture and literature, and contemporary German linguistics. By working with these faculty members, students can broaden and deepen their own research. The master's program includes classes on “German-Language Literature Research,” “German-Language Literature Research Seminar,” “German-Language Cultural Studies,” “German-Language Cultural Studies Research Seminar,” “German Linguistics Research,” and “German Linguistics Research Seminar.” All the classes are small, so there is plenty of time for careful reading of texts, as well as asking and answering questions. In parallel, faculty members provide thesis guidance. While receiving such guidance, students can report on their progress and receive advice from multiple faculty members at interim presentation events. As in the master's program, doctoral students will receive guidance from their academic advisors and advice from multiple faculty members in their interim presentations. However, they will be required to take a more self-directed approach in their own research topics. Once they have decided on a direction for their research, they may want to consider long-term study at a university in the German-speaking world.
Students may also have the opportunity to contribute to academic journals and present their work at conferences as their research deepens.
Academic Society Activities
At the Osaka City University's German Literature Society meeting that has been held twice in a year, current faculty, former faculty, graduate students, and former students have given research presentations on the German-speaking world. Osaka Metropolitan University inherits this tradition. The society's annual organ Seminarium is for publishing diverse research findings.
French Language and Literature
This course is dedicated to teaching, researching, and societal contributions related to the language, literature, cultures, histories, and societies of the French-speaking world. It focuses on France, which has had a major influence on world history and continues to occupy an important position, but also covers other parts of Europe (Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg), South and North America (Quebec, Haiti), Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire), Tahiti, and Oceania. The course's previous name, “French Language and French Literature Course,” referred to a sphere of study widely found at other universities, but very few universities are dedicated to studying the Francophone world. This does not mean, of course, that we are abandoning traditional French literary studies, but rather that we are also covering the French-speaking world that extends above it.
Our faculty specialize in twentieth-century literature, linguistics/language education, and cultural studies. Each has a broad range of interests. In addition to literary research, they have instructed students writing theses on foreign language education/learning, media speech analysis, the historical development of religious culture, illustrations, dance, architecture, museums, equestrian culture, and rap.
This course has developed relationships with French universities (University of Lyon 3, Cergy-Pontoise University, and University of Tours) for many years based on international exchange agreements. This includes undergraduate student exchange programs and graduate student exchange classes.
Academic Society Activities
Ever since the days of Osaka City University, this course has had a long tradition of an academic society consisting of current graduate students and faculty, graduate school alumni, and retired faculty. The society actively holds research gatherings, symposia, and other events. Its organ, Lutèce, presents and disseminates a variety of research results that reflect the characteristics of this course.
Four faculty members belong to Linguistics Applied Course. They cover a wide range of fields in linguistics: language structure, language semantics, linguistic performance, corpus linguistics, language acquisition, second language acquisition, language education, English lexical history, comparative linguistics, psycholinguistics, and English-language education.
One of the main features of this course is the wide range of languages studied. While they primarily specialize in English and Japanese, their research ranges from Altai languages (Chinese, Manchu/Jurchen), as well as Southeast Asian languages (Thai, Vietnamese). Another feature of this course is that it goes beyond the individual language frameworks to understand the characteristics of the languages of study from new perspectives. Multiple graduate students have conducted comparative research on Japanese, Chinese, and English grammar. The multifaceted study of various languages broadens our knowledge of language. Comparative research on multiple languages is a major kind of this course's linguistic research.
Courses include linguistics applied research and linguistics applied research seminars. They are taught by each faculty member. In the former, faculty members lecture on topics that interest them. Let's take a quick look at part of the classes. In one linguistics applied research class, students read introductory texts related to language education and language acquisition in English, present on them in English, and discuss them in English. The aim is for students to seek out new forms of language education amidst globalization. The class not only deepens students' understanding of specialized fields, but also develops their general-purpose skills and abilities to convey information and ideas in English. In a linguistics applied research seminar class, while dealing with academic literature, students work to master the technical and theoretical aspects of research methods with the aim of having their research develop. Through these lectures and seminars, the course's students acquire the knowledge and skills required to write a master's thesis. Furthermore, by taking these subjects, they are able to deepen their perspectives in their fields and begin to write a master's thesis. In the doctoral program, linguistics applied dissertation guidance is mainly provided by faculty members with closely related expertise. After their dissertations have progressed, students regularly present and discuss their research in a forum attended by many faculty members from different fields. All faculty members participate in research guidance for theses and actively work to improve them. This is also a distinguishing characteristic of this course.
Masters students should have an overall idea for their master's thesis by the end of their first year. So that they can, four master's thesis lecture and seminar classes are held in both semesters during the first year. These classes are conducted by this course's faculty, and provide useful information for writing a master's thesis. Students should make sure to take them in their first year. In addition, once a month, a “linguistics applied comprehensive research” meeting is held with the participation of master's students and all faculty members. At it, all graduate students present on the progress of their master's thesis, actively exchange opinions regarding the content of their research, and then engage in meaningful discussions to create a better thesis. Master's thesis oral examinations will be held around the beginning of February during the second year.
Students can freely choose the topics of their doctoral dissertations, provided that the research is on language. Dissertations have been on the acquisition process of the case particle ga in young children, English expressions of situational awareness (speakers' attitudes towards events' occurrence), and other topics. International students are often interested in the comparative analysis of multiple languages. Their dissertations have included a study on unagi-sentences in Chinese, Japanese, and English, and one entitled, “A Comparative Study of Noticing between L1 and L2 Writing Processes of EFL Learners from Japan and China.”
Research themes of graduate students
|郭 丹磊（M2）||A contrastive study of Japanese and Chinese mimetic words expressing body states|
|Yoko Kashimoto (D3)||Elementary school English education, reading and writing instruction, teacher training|
|Masako Ishida (D3)||Second language acquisition among children, English education|
|Kanae Omae (D3)||Relationship among English rhythm, English proficiency, and working memory|
|Diodato Francesco（D3）||Italian language pedagogy|
|Wataru Saito (M1)||Awareness brought about by sign language|
Research in Language and Information Science
Since its first publication in March 2005, this journal has been published yearly in March. Authors are primarily graduate students, faculty members, and former graduate students. Each issue also serves to report on the course's activities and as a springboard for the new generation to take a leap forward.
Academic Society Activities
This course has the Osaka City University Society of Language and Information Studies (this society's title is from when Osaka City University was in existence). The society holds an annual conference in the fall with the participation of graduates, providing a valuable forum for research presentations and the exchange of information.