Department Configuration

Department Configuration

The Faculty of Intercultural Studies is comprised of 1 Department (Department of Intercultural Studies), 4 divisions, and 12 courses.

After taking the introductory classes of each course and major subject, students choose a major in the 2nd year and receive specialized education in their field of study.

Human Communication and Information Science

Communication is what makes it possible for different societies, cultures, and peoples to interact with each other. Most people would agree that the Internet is the most powerful communication medium of our time. Every Web page presents its information in a specific language, one that we may not be familiar with; however, we cannot always ignore information simply because we don’t understand the language. Also related to digital communication is the issue that, unlike face-to-face conversations, electronic messages do not usually evoke a feeling of heart-to-heart connection between the participants.
The Human Communication and Information Science Division is dedicated to pursuing ideal ways of facilitating global communication. Courses are divided across three programs:
The first, the Verbal Communication Program, covers such themes as the structure and functions of language, second language acquisition, and cross-linguistic communication.
The second, Human Communication Program, explores communication through the cognitive sciences, focusing on themes like interpersonal relationships, emotions and feelings, and the speech and brain activities behind language behavior.
The third, Information Technology Program, searches for new communication possibilities using information technology (IT) such as the internet, mobile phones, and digital communication.
We present a vision of a new, integrated communications science that helps people acquire the knowledge and skills they need to reap the maximum benefit from living in an information society, along with a basic understanding of the technologies behind the Internet, while addressing issues that meet real-world needs. All our courses strive to contribute to this goal.

Contemporary Culture and Society

Contemporary society appears to have arrived at a major crossroads. The end of the Cold War, waves of globalization, declining sovereignty of nation-states, and growth of an information-oriented high-consumption society are giving rise to questions about the validity of the modern principles that have underpinned society in the face of the apparent emergence of a new type of culture.
The Contemporary Culture and Society Division addresses the complex web of issues surrounding contemporary culture from three perspectives:
The first, Modernity Studies Program, examines contemporary society in the larger context of “modernity.” Specifically, we take a critical look at the systems that have supported modern life, such as society, economics, politics, and art, along with their theoretical underpinnings, and explore possible directions in which our world might grow.
In the second, Contemporary Social Issues Program, we take a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the nature of contemporary society. For example, we will be analyzing phenomena that symbolize the front lines of our times, such as changes in institutions and social consciousness, bioethical and environmental issues, gender-related phenomena, and the growth of the media and sports.
The third, Art, Culture, and Society Program, focuses on the social roles of art and investigates the contemporary relevance of various art forms and media, including music, theater, images and text. At the same time, students will acquire skills related to the promotion of cultural initiatives and art management.

Intercultural Communication

Ethnic conflicts continue to flare up around the world. At the heart of these clashes is the tendency of every group to have absolute faith in its own cultural values while rejecting others. On the other hand, ongoing efforts also exist to overcome national and cultural boundaries and achieve reconciliation and integration. The contemporary world seems to be undergoing a complex process of division and integration as diverse cultures interact with each other. The Intercultural Communication Division explores ways for facilitating dialogue across cultural boundaries by examining the nature of cross-cultural interaction and following the latest relevant global developments.
Courses are offered in three categories:
The first, Intercultural Relations Program, focuses on the challenge of understanding foreign cultures.
The second, Multicultural Program, builds on the insights gained through the Intercultural Relations Program and discusses the institutional frameworks and principles that might enable the peaceful coexistence of different cultures.
The third, Transcultural Program, looks at cross-cultural activities and the cultural transformation process they trigger, and discusses the factors that make two-directional cross-cultural communication possible.

Area Studies

The Area Studies Division is dedicated to studying 21st century regional representations of the world’s diverse cultures. The courses use a variety of approaches to understanding how cultures influence each other across national boundaries and create to new ones, and consider the present and future of the world culture.
The division comprises three programs:
The first, Japanese Culture Studies Program, explores the structure and features of Japanese culture and society. Its courses focus on language, art, literature, customs, lifestyle, thoughts, and values, discussing the process of their change, their current status, and their international significance.
The second, Asia-Pacific Culture Studies Program, treats such topics as ethnic migration and conflict, cultural and economic interaction across national boundaries, the influence of religion and education on social and cultural change, and moves toward regional political and economic partnerships focusing on the developing Asia-Pacific region, in which two-thirds of the Earth’s population is concentrated.
The third, European and American Culture Studies Program, we review the concepts and values originating in Europe and North America that have shaped the modern lifestyle and mind, and assess the significance of Western languages, thinking, arts, and social institutions for the world in the 21st century.

Faculty of Intercultural Studies/ Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University
1-2-1, Tsurukabuto, Nada-ku, Kobe, JAPAN 657-8501