Greeting from Division of African Area Studies

Many of you who are about to graduate from colleges must be eager to apply your newly found possibilities for a brilliant future. The Division of African Area Studies in Kyoto University has its strength in the interdisciplinary fieldwork encompassing the sciences and the humanities to propel research and elucidate Africa today.

The information on Africa readily available in Japan is largely event-specific, ranging from conflicts, droughts, deforestation, to economic development. These topics alone do not offer the means for an integrated comprehension of the nature, life, and history of Africa underlying the specific current events. Without integrated comprehension, academe cannot contribute towards the solutions for various African issues. Faced with ongoing globalization everywhere, academe must be prepared to create new paradigms that transcend the dichotomy of developed versus developing nations in understanding Africa.

Faced with more and more social disparity and control, it is increasingly difficult for one to build a robust career that nurtures individual capabilities. Surviving in a competitive society is only achieved when one finds the courage to veer from the path treaded by everybody else. Why not greatly expand on the knowledge and interests gained in college, and acquire further insights for yourselves through Africa studies, thereby starting out on an exciting path to a true international professional?

Three Departments

Sub-Saharan Africa, which had historically shown a high potential for development in favor of diverse ecological conditions, has long suffered from economic stagnation. The fragile post-colonial nation-states could not solve, and often aggravated the socio-political conflicts. New strategies for promoting an endogenous development in Africa are in prompt need. For such alternative development, it is necessary to develop insight into various aspects of Africa, such as its ecological diversity, tangled social formation, decreasing cultural sustainability, unevenly distributed resources, marginalized international position and so on. To strengthen multi-dimensional approaches to Africa, the Division of African Area Studies is composed of three departments.

Political Ecology

The Department aims to examine the potential of endogenous development of Africa in wider ecological, economic and political perspectives. Its fields of research and education consist of Agricultural Ecology, and Livelihood and Economy.

Staff : Jun Ikeno / Juichi Itani / Akira Takada / Morie Kaneko / Hiroki Sato

Cultural Ecology

The Department aims to shed light on the socio-cultural characteristics of the present multi-ethnic societies in Africa. Its fields of research and education are Culture and Ethnicity, and Socio-Cultural Integration.

Staff : Motoki Takahashi / Daiji Kimura / Gen Yamakoshi / Shuichi Oyama

Historical Ecology

The Department focuses on the dynamic processes of interaction between humans and nature. Its fields of research and education are Social and Cultural Dynamics and Socio-Ecological History.

Staff:Itaru Ohta / Masayoshi Shigeta / Misa Hirano (Nomoto)