For the second consecutive year, Clark University is the recipient of a generous gift from The Japan Foundation to sustain and enhance the teaching of Japanese.
The Foundation’s Institutional Project Support Program has awarded Clark a three-year, $302, 204 grant to help fund a tenure-track faculty member specializing in Japanese language and culture.
On Monday, the Department of Language, Literature, and Culture hosted Japan Foundation representatives for a lunch and tour of the Clark campus. As part of the tour, they donned hardhats to visit the Center for Media Arts, Computing, and Design, which will be the future home of the Becker School of Design & Technology, the Department of Computer Science, and some Visual and Performing Arts programs. The contingent also observed a Japanese language class in Estabrook Hall and a digital organic modeling class in the current BSDT facility on William Street.
“This second gift from the Foundation has allowed us to hire an assistant professor in LL&C who will offer courses in both Japanese language and culture and who also will be instrumental in forging collaborations with the BSDT and CGRAS [Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies],” said Alice Valentine, professor of Japanese. “Student interest in Japanese continues to grow, and Clark is the only college in Central Massachusetts where Japanese language is taught.”
“We are grateful for The Japan Foundation providing support for Clark’s Japanese language and culture program two years in a row,” said Yuko Aoyama, associate provost and dean of research and graduate studies. “The interest in Japanese is growing as we integrate Becker School of Design & Technology at Clark.”
Nobuyuki Minagawa, program director of Japanese Studies for The Japan Foundation in New York, told Spectrum News 1, “It’s very great to see this university try to hire new faculty members and strengthen the Japanese studies. I see a lot of connections — active and practical connections — between Japanese studies and gaming design. I think this is very impressive stuff.”