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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It 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.

Japan Foundation logoGraduate 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

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


September 24, 2016
John Carroll University, University Heights, OH
Host: Susan Long
Presenters: Ethan Segal, Michigan State University; Heather Bowen-Struyk, University of Notre Dame

October 15, 2016
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Ill
(Held in conjunction with MCAA)
Host: Elizabeth Lublin
Presenters: Monika Dix, Saginaw Valley State University; Kari Shepherdson-Scott, Macalester College

November 5, 2016
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.
Host: Ethan Segal
Presenters: Luke Franks, North Central College; Kazue Harada, Miami University

February 11, 2017
University of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn.
Host: Catherine Phipps
Presenters: David Blaylock, Eastern Kentucky University; Anne Sokolsky, Ohio Wesleyan University

April 8, 2017
St. Xavier University, Chicago, Ill.
Host: Michael Bathgate
Presenters: Beth Widmaier Capo, Illinois College; Tanya Maus, Wilmington College

September 16, 2017
University of Notre Dame
Presenters: Noriko T. Reider, Miami University of Ohio; Roderick I. Wilson, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


September 12, 2015
University of Michigan, Flint, MI
Host: Roy Hanashiro
Presenters: Sidney Lu, Michigan State University; Hiromi Mizuno, University of Minnesota.

October 17, 2015
Washington University, St. Louis, Miss.
(Held in conjunction with MCAA)    
Presenters: Kendra Strand, St. Olaf; David Holloway, University of Rochester.

November 14, 2015
Illinois State University (Normal), Normal, Ill.
Host: Lou Perez
Presenters: Elizabeth Oyler, University of Illinois; Maki Isaka, University of Minnesota.

February 20, 2016
Beloit College, Beloit, Wis.
Host: Susan Furukawa
Presenters: James Huffman, Wittengerg University; Morten Oxenboell, Indiana University.

April 9, 2016 
Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Ill.
Host: Taylor Atkins
Presenters: Robert Kane, Niagara University; Taylor Atkins, Northern Ill.


October 4
University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.
(Held in conjunction with MCAA)   
Host: J. Megan Greene
Presenters: Nancy Stalker, history, University of Texas, Austin; William Bridges, literature, St. Olaf College.

November 8
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.
Host: Parks Coble
Presenters: Christienne Hinz, history, Southern Illinois University; Katherine Tegtmeyer Pak, St. Olaf University.

Feb. 7, 2015
Oakland University, Detroit, Mich.
Host: Jane Yamazaki
Presenters: NobukoToyosawa, Susan Furukawa, literature, Beloit College.

April 25, 2015
Niagara University, N.Y.
Host: Bob Kane
Presenters: Yuka Kishida, history, Bridgewater College; Meghan M. Jones, art history, New York State College of Ceramics.