Globalizing University History Education: Diversity, Trans-borders and Intersectionality



Date: 5-6 August, 2019


Venue: Saji Keizo Memorial Hall, Osaka University Nakanoshima Center



I.         Background


In 2017, the Osaka University History Education Projectsuccessfully obtained a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) large-scale grant, under the following scheme: Topic-Setting Program to Advance Cutting-Edge Humanities and Social Sciences Research Global Initiatives. The project CI is Professor Kazuaki Tsutsumi, and the project title is “Reinventing University History Education: International Comparison on How to Adapt Nation-State Based University History Education to Globalization”.


The primary objectives of the project are, 1) to teach a national, regional, and world history in an integrated manner beyond Euro-centric history teaching as a universal model, and 2) to diversify teaching and training methods and materials that are designed to teach history for nationals. This question spawns from recent changes in Japanese tertiary education. The Japanese government has driven the reform of history education and has also encouraged the globalization of tertiary education. More specifically, the traditional tripartite division of labour in university history educationJapanese history, Western history and Oriental historyhas become obsolete and is forced to change to fit the transnational or trans-border societies in the twenty-first century. In addition, we are strongly requested to consider the training of future “global citizens” and a potential usefulness of historical studies for global agendas like SDGs.


This challenging and significant task has been globally undertaken, prompting international comparative research to identify the best possible educational models for teaching history in a contemporary, globalized world.


Osaka University is excellently placed to conduct cross-national comparative research due to its well-established international connections with universities in China, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and the United States, as well as to implement several pilot courses arising from this project both within the university and in overseas collaborating universities. To conclude the past two and half years of our research, the symposium presents the research outcomes over five themes.



II.        Objectives


This symposium will present research outcomes to conclude the project over five themes by five panels.


The first panel (A-1: Common Structures and Issues of East Asian Countries) compares the contents of history education across four Asian countries (China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Japan) that historically practiced Confucian values, to identify how national history and world history are taught in universities. It also demonstrates how historical and social structural factors impact the choice of history teaching content, the perception of university history academics regarding how history should be taught, and the manner in which each country attempts to overcome the Euro-centric model of history education by incorporating Asian perspectives.


The second panel (A-2: Different Perspectives from Europe and Beyond) will present regional differences of university history education through different cases dealt with by the first panel. The countries in question are one Southeast Asian country (Singapore) and three European countries, namely Greece (a Southern Mediterranean country), Sweden (a Northern Nordic country), and Germany (a Central European country). These cases from European countries will decentralise the monolithic understanding of “European” models of history education from within. And by doing so, the panel will provide balanced vantage points for understanding differences and similarities of history education.


The third panel (B-1: Issues of Research/Teaching Fields) presents four practices for history teaching and research at Osaka University and showcases the university’s attempt to integrate innovative research results from four fieldsnamely 1) Central Eurasian history in ancient times and the Middle Ages, 2) Asian area studies, 3) Maritime Asian history in the early-modern period, and 4) Global economic history in modern and contemporary timesinto university history education. The panel will present concrete examples of teaching global history at the university level.


The fourth panel (B-2: Teaching at Different Types of Universities and Institutes) compares history education in different types of universities and institutes. Differences in universities, such as funding sources (either public or private), sizes, levels, geographical locations and so on, shape each university’s raison d’être and also influence their choices of history teaching contents. This panel identifies different types of universities and also demonstrates that each type creates its own history teaching practices to reflect its raison d’être.


The fifth panel (C: Approaches to Teaching History in the Globalizing World) critically investigates global history, particularly in terms of changing educational practices and systems. The innocuous adaptation of global history as the antithesis of national history should also be carefully scrutinized, as global history is not an ideal space free from racial, gender and class unevenness. While globalization has become part of our everyday lives, it constantly demarcates lines of race, gender, and class. Instead of considering “global” as a given framework, this panel will question what global means to whom, and will seek ways of connecting national and global histories for diverse audiences and purposes.


Through these studies, this symposium also aims at providing a multi-angled platform for discussion across nations, generations, professions (university instructors, high school teachers, and other history practitioners), and social issues influencing university history education. Hence, this symposium is free and open to the public.



III.      Tentative Program


Day 1: Monday 5 August 2019

  9:30  9:50   Registration

  9:5010:00   Opening Speech

10:0012:30   Panel 1 (A-1): Common Structures and Issues of East Asian Countries

12:3014:00   Lunch

14:0016:30   Panel 2 (A-2):Perspective of Regions and Countriesoutside East Asia

16:3016:50   Coffee Break

16:5018:00   Keynote Speech: The Global Growth of World History Education

Ross E. Dunn (Emeritus Professor of History, San Diego State University)


Day 2: Tuesday 6 August 2019

  8:40-  9:00   Registration

  9:0011:30   Panel 3 (B-1): Issues of Research/Teaching Fields

11:3013:00   Lunch

13:0015:30   Panel 4 (B-2): Teaching at/by Different Types of Universities and Institutes

15:3015:50   Coffee Break

15:5018:20   Panel 5 (C): Approaches to Teaching History in the Globalizing World

18:2018:30   Closing Remarks



Panel 1 (A-1): Common Structures and Issues of East Asian Countries

Panel Coordinator: Shiro Momoki


World History Discipline in China’s Universities

            Yang Biao (East China Normal University, China)


High School History Curricular Reforms and the Role of University for Promoting History Education in Korea

Yang Hohwan (Seoul National University, South Korea)


Teaching History in Vietnam from Global History Perspective: Reality and Prospect

Pham Quang Minh (Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam)


University History Education in a Country of Craftsmen

            Shiro Momoki (Osaka University, Japan)



Panel 2 (A-2): Perspective of Regions and Countries outside East Asia

Panel Coordinator: Kazuhiro Takeuchi


Globalizing History Education in Singapore: In Search of a National Identity and International Standards

Liu Hong (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)


History Education at the University of Athens and Archaeology in Greece

Kazuhiro Takeuchi (Osaka University, Japan)


History Education at Universities of Sweden and “Freedom of Choice”

Daisuke Furuya (Osaka University, Japan)


History Education in German Universities and the Role of Public History

Susanne Popp (University of Augsburg, Germany)


Discussant: Gerold Krozewski (Osaka University, Japan)



Keynote Speech:


The Global Growth of World History Education

Ross E. Dunn (Emeritus Professor of History, San Diego State University)



Panel 3 (B-1): Issues of Research/Teaching Fields

Panel Coordinator: Shigeru Akita


Global History Studies at Osaka University

Shigeru Akita (Osaka University, Japan)


The Role of Maritime Asian History for Global History Education

Masaki Mukai (Doshisha University, Japan)


The Place of Gunpowder in the Early Modern World and the Ways of Integrating it into Global History Education

Sun Laichen (California State University, Fullerton, USA)


Rakhine and Rohingya in Myanmar: A Case of History Education in Southeast Asian Area Studies

Kazuto Ikeda (Osaka University, Japan)


Discussant: Tsubasa Nakamura (Kyoto University of Education, Japan)



Panel 4 (B-2): Teaching at/by Different Types of Universities and Institutes

Panel Coordinator: Kazuaki Tsutsumi


History Education at a Large Research University: History Education Reform in the History Major at Osaka University, School of Letters

Kazuaki Tsutsumi (Osaka University, Japan)


The Situation of Local Universities: The Case of Shizuoka University

Jun Iwai (Shizuoka University, Japan)


Teaching Japanese History in the Globalisation/Internationalisation of Japan’s Higher Education: From the Cases of “Top Global Universities” of Japan

Kayoko Fujita (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)


School and Social Educational Projects by the Northeast Asian History Foundation, South Korea: A Current Situation and Prospects

Kim Minkyu (Northeast Asian History Foundation, South Korea)


Discussant: Tatsuo Inohara (Osaka University, Japan)



Panel 5 (C): Approaches to Teaching History in the Globalizing World

Panel Coordinator: Takao Fujikawa


Preparing World History Teachers in the US and Japan

Kristine Dennehy (California State University, Fullerton, USA)


Not Just an Enigma: How to Connect Japan with the World beyond its Specificities through University Education

Yasuko Hassal Kobayashi (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)


How to Interpret Historical Terms in Foreign Languages: Teaching Medieval Japanese History in the Globalizing World

Huang Xiaolong (Osaka University, Japan)


Digital History Connecting University, Students, and the Public

Takao Fujikawa (Osaka University, Japan)