To the Presenters of Panel Discussions:

On the Success of Inter-Asia-Cultural Typhoon 2009

CFP for publication“Reading Asia through Cultural Studies” (temporary title)

welcome party

To all those planning to present at or attend Inter-Asia Cultural Typhoon 2009.

* We will hold a Welcome Party on 4 July, 18:30-20:30. Everyone is welcome to participate in this party.
Halal dishes and vegetarian food will also be served.
* Please buy tickets for the party at the admission counter. Price is 3000yen.
* VENUE: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Cafeteria and Dning Hall

Our Position on the New H1N1 Influenza

To all those planning to present at or attend Inter-Asia Cultural Typhoon 2009.

Many of you may be rightly concerned that Cultural Typhoon could be caught up in the global confusion over the spread of the new H1N1 Influenza strain (swine influenza). Since the confirmation of domestic transmission of the new influenza in Japan in mid-May these concerns are understandable, as a number of schools and universities, as well as places of interest, have been closed, primarily in the Osaka and Kobe areas. However, based on the points outlined below, we are proceeding with Cultural Typhoon planning without delay. At this stage there are no changes to the original plan.

1. There are no significant differences between the new influenza and regular seasonal influenza. The new strain is essentially quite weak. Nevertheless, a temporary mass hysteria developed, fuelled by arbitrary government information control and excessive mass media exposure. Despite the reaction of government, organisations and groups being out of step with the actual progression of the disease, the mass confusion of the last couple of weeks has finally eased, Japanese society is paying more attention to the realities of the situation and returning to calm. We can say that people have realised that “The King is naked!” The various meaningless quarantine measures, aggressive school closures and cancellations of planned events have all been lifted. It is clear that these measures were a mistaken overreaction.

2. A large number of young people in Mexico did die of swine flu, but they were already in adverse conditions, or unable to get medical assistance. This is clearly a tragic result of social factors, such as poverty and inadequate welfare. This swine flu, in addition to highlighting the possible speed of diffusion of contagious diseases in a globalised condition, also clearly demonstrated the cruel gap in healthcare that continues to exist. Moreover, with swirling war metaphors of “shoreline operations” and “all-out war”, a pointless attempt was made in Japan to “battle” the virus by stopping people at the borders, in the process promoting xenophobia. These events should also be seen as an exercise in creating a national body that meekly and obediently follows the demands of government. For us gathering at Cultural Typhoon, this incident and the uproar surrounding it, alongside our conference theme of “Globalisation and its Fault-lines”, can be seen as an archetypal phenomenon, as an object for critical attention and analysis, and a practical challenge for us to potentially take up.

3. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has stated that the spread of swine flu is easing. However, if we put aside the speculative craze in surgical mask buying, it shouldn’t matter if we think it is coming to an end. Obviously we should be mindful of those with diabetes or serious respiratory problems, who should take care, however there are basically no problems for normal life.

At the first Cultural Typhoon at Waseda University, which ultimately went ahead without any problems, there was also mass social concern with SARS. Because of that history, many people have contacted the committee, or have expressed fears about the conference. We are deeply grateful for the concern of our friends, but wish to make ourselves very clear. Cultural Typhoon 2009 will take place as planned from 3 July to 5 July, 2009 at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. We are looking forward to a warm exchange of ideas at that time.

Cultural Typhoon 2009 Committee

Second Application Period (for Panels and Individual Papers) is over.

Second Application Form (for Panels and Individual Papers) is uploaded.

First Application Period is over.

Application Form is modified and Schedule is added.

CT2009/IACT Official Webpage is constructed (moved from Temporary Webpage).