Midwest Japan Seminar

The Midwest Japan Seminar is an association of scholars who devote a significant portion of their effort to Japan studies. The seminar meets five times a year at various host institutions throughout the Midwest, once in conjunction with the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs.

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The Seminar meets Saturday afternoons for four hours and for dinner in the evening. Typically, two scholars are invited to present the results of their current research. The papers are sent out prior to the seminar, providing the opportunity for in-depth discussion and feedback.Graduate students with an interest in Japan are particularly welcome to attend.

The Midwest Japan Seminar is grateful for the continued generous support of the Japan Foundation.

Letter from the chair

Welcome to the Midwest Japan Seminar!

Just about forty years ago, the Midwest Japan Seminar held its first gathering. The intervening years have seen the membership grow to over 160 scholars, whose research and teaching interests span nearly a dozen academic disciplines and who represent almost 100 colleges and universities. Throughout that growth, the core objectives of MJS have remained the same. Indeed, it continues to be a vehicle for vibrant intellectual exchange about Japan, for the sharing of information about teaching, and for the building of friendships and networks. The schedule for the upcoming academic year will most certainly maintain that tradition, and I look forward to seeing you at one or more meetings.

Elizabeth Lublin (Betsy)
MJS Chair
Wayne State University
August 2016

Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs

Dear Colleague:
Give the wonderful students at your university a boost by nominating their papers for an essay prize awarded by the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs! There are two prize categories, one for graduate students and one for undergraduate students. See the details below.

Four Percy Buchanan prizes of $100 each, plus travel expenses of up to $100, will be awarded for the best original graduate student research papers. Papers should be no longer than 35 pages double spaced including the bibliography. Students will have an opportunity to present winning papers at the conference. There is one prize for each of the four main AAS regions: China and Inner Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Graduate student winners have the opportunity to publish their papers in Studies on Asia. Papers will be reviewed by scholars in the appropriate field.  Graduate students may submit their papers directly without faculty recommendation.

The Sidney DeVere Brown Prize, and the Mikiso Hane Prize are awarded to the two best original papers composed by undergraduates. Prizes of $100, plus travel expenses of up to $100, are awarded to the authors of the winning papers. Paper submissions should be between 10 and 35 pages double spaced and must be accompanied by a letter from the student's professor or advisor confirming that the paper was written while the author was an undergraduate. Papers will be reviewed by scholars in the appropriate field. Undergraduate winners have the opportunity to publish their papers in The Wittenberg East Asian Studies Journal. 

Please note: Graduate and undergraduate students may compete for these prizes if they attend a college or university in the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Papers become the property of MCAA and will not be returned. Decisions of the judges are final. 

Do consider submitting your students’ best papers for this competition.  You may do so by accessing the Awards link on the MCAA’s home page, and then follow instructions on the Submissions link.  All papers must be submitted in digital format. 

The deadline for submission (sorry, no extensions can be considered) of all papers is June 15, 2018.

This year the MCAA will be held October 19-20, 2018 at Metropolitan State University. I’ll look forward to seeing everyone there. 

Best wishes,

Laura Miller, Vice President
Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs

International Studies and Programs
University of Missouri - St. Louis
366 Social Sciences & Business Building (MC 58)
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121-4400

Mailing list

If you are a Japan scholar and/or learn of others who focus their research and teaching on Japan in the Midwest who might be interested in participating in the Midwest Japan Seminar, contact Elizabeth Lublin at aj8580@wayne.edu.

Upcoming schedule


February 15, 2020

University of Missouri-St. Louis

Presenting: Malia McAndrew from John Carroll University, Eric Cunningham from Earlham College and Tyler Walker from Kalamazoo College 

April 4, 2020

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Presenting: Hilary Snow from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Robert Tierney from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Elizabeth Lublin from Wayne State University