Available Projects

  1. “Yasashii Nihongo” as a language choice: Easy Japanese on the multilingual websites of local governments - Dr Kayoko Hashimoto

  2. Food, humour and gender in Osaki Midori’s modernist literature - Associate Professor Tomoko Aoyama

  3. How do artists and viewers conceptualise abstract artworks? - Dr Kari Sullivan

  4. Australian Engagements With Japanese Fairy Tale Retellings - Dr Lucy Fraser

  5. Food, gender and humour in the poems of Ishigaki Rin (1920-2004) - Associate Professor Tomoko Aoyama

 


 

“Yasashii Nihongo” as a language choice: Easy Japanese on the multilingual websites of local governments

Project duration: 4 weeks

Description: 

This is part of the project “‘Yasashii Nihongo’ as a language choice: Views of local governments on the promotion of Easy Japanese”, which was funded by the 2015 QPJE (Queensland Program for Japanese Education) Japanese Studies Research Grant.
“Yasashii Nihongo” or Easy Japanese was initially created in 1995 to facilitate communication with foreigners in times of emergency.
It has been promoted since then predominantly by local governments in order to reach out to non-Japanese residents.
It has been criticised, however, for its condescending and artificial nature of the language particularly by Japanese language teachers.

This project investigates how Easy Japanese has been used as a separate language on the multilingual websites of local governments as part of their service to the local communities.
The websites, which will be investigated in this project, include the homepages of prefectural and municipal offices as well as public libraries.

The research questions are:

  1. What is Easy Japanese? How different from the standard Japanese?
  2. In terms of language choice, does Easy Japanese function in the same way as other languages, such as English, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese, do for the users? 

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Successful applicants can expect to gain insight in the promotion of Easy Japanese for foreign residents in Japan as well as to gain research skills in collecting data from Japanese websites. They can also expect that they increase their knowledge and understanding of Japanese used by government offices for local communities.

Applicants are expected to identity prefectural and municipal offices and public libraries that use Easy Japanese as a language option on their multilingual websites, and to report the level of information provided in Easy Japanese. 

Suitable for:

This project is suitable for students with advanced level of Japanese, who are currently enrolled in UQ third/fourth year Japanese undergraduate program or MA coursework programs in Applied Linguistics.

Further info: 

Please contact Dr Kayoko Hashimoto (k.hashimoto@uq.edu.au) prior to application submission.


 

Food, humour and gender in Osaki Midori’s modernist literature

Project duration: 5 weeks

Description: 

This project is a part of a larger interdisciplinary project on "Gastronomic Modernism". It examines food, eating, and cooking in selected writings of Osaki Midori (1896-1971) written in late 1920s and early 1930s. Although forgotten for decades, Osaki was rediscovered in the late 1960s and is regarded as one of the most important modernist writers in Japan. She has not only attracted critical attention among  scholars of modernism, women's literature, and gender studies but also inspired generations of creative writers, film makers, dramatists, and manga artists.

The project focuses on the representations of food in Osaki's texts (in Japanese), and their intertextual relations to other literary texts and films (in Japanese and English), such as those of William Sharp/Fiona Macleod, Satō Haruo, and Charlie Chaplin. In the light of relevant theories, especially concerning modernism, parody and intertextuality and girl (shōjo) studies, each "written food" item will be closely examined.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Students will participate in the following tasks:

  • Collection of theoretical and critical literature (mainly in English) as instructed by the supervisor and make annotated bibliography. The student will develop/strengthen their research skills in Japanese and comparative literary/cultural studies.
  • Identification and classification of food, cooking, eating motifs in the selected texts in Japanese and English in consultation with the supervisor. This will enhance the student's advanced analytical reading skills in Japanese.

At the end of the project, students will submit an annotated bibliography, complete analytical data (in tables as instructed), and a brief report on the benefit of the project to their own study.  

Students are strongly encouraged to develop their own advanced undergraduate, Honours, or postgraduate projects in Japanese literary/cultural studies using the knowledge and techniques acquired in these projects.

Suitable for:

The project requires advanced Japanese reading skills (preferably JAPN32xx level or above) and at least some knowledge of literary studies (if not modern Japanese literature). Since the project deals with pre-war literature, knowledge of pre-war orthography would be helpful, though not essential.  Some general knowledge of modernism would also be advantageous.

UQ students planning to do Honours or Research Higher Degree in Japanese literature/culture would be given priority.

Students with Japanese skills but without prior knowledge of literary studies or students with a literature background but with limited Japanese skills would also be  considered, especially if they are interested in furthering their studies in Japanese literature.

Further info: 

Please contact Associate Professor Tomoko Aoyama (t.aoyama@uq.edu.au) prior to application submission (by email only, as she will be on SSP until 20 July).


 

How do artists and viewers conceptualise abstract artworks?

Project duration: 6 weeks

Description: 

Both artists and viewers describe their experience of visual artwork using metaphoric language.
The metaphors they choose reveal how they conceptualise the artwork.
This project evaluates the extent to which abstract artists and viewers of abstract works agree with metaphoric statements about the art.
Results will be compared with existing data that focus on non-abstract figurative artworks.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

The successful applicant will collect, input, and process data from questionnaires, and participate in analysing this data. S/he will select, locate and attend art exhibitions or other events that include abstract works, distribute questionnaires at these events, input the results in Excel, and participate in the statistical analysis of results.

The collected data will be compared with a previously compiled database covering mainly figurative artworks, and will shed light on how artists and viewers experience and conceptualise different types of visual artworks.

Suitable for:

This project is open to UQ-enrolled students with a good knowledge of the local arts community, who are comfortable meeting strangers and talking about artwork, and who either have a car or can use public transport.
Must have own camera (camera phone is acceptable) and familiarity with Microsoft Excel. Linguistics background (particularly LING1000 and/or LING2000) a plus.

Further info: 

Please contact Dr Kari Sullivan (ksull@uq.edu.au) prior to application submission.


 

Australian Engagements With Japanese Fairy Tale Retellings

Project duration: 6 weeks

Description: 

This project investigates Australian engagements with Japanese fairy tale texts. In particular it looks at the 1961 novella House of the Sleeping Beauties, written by Japanese winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Kawabata Yasunari.
We will begin by developing an understanding of the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale and its cross-cultural journeys, considering the appeal of various versions of the story.
We will then analyse the usages of Kawabata’s retelling in Australian texts such as Julia Leigh’s film Sleeping Beauty (2011) and several contemporary Australian novels and short stories.
Specifically, this project questions the portrayal, meaning, significance of “Japan”, “Japanese-ness” and “Japanese literature” against the supposed universality of (European) fairy tales such as “Sleeping Beauty” in these recent Australian creations.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Student who take part in this project can expect to:

  • Improve their general research skills in the humanities
  • Develop the ability to write succinctly and clearly
  • Gain knowledge of the field of contemporary Japanese literary and cultural studies
  • Gain knowledge of the field of comparative literary and cultural studies

Detailed, progressive feedback will be provided on the student’s research and writing.

The student will be expected to:

  • Research and write a literature review of fiction and/or film and television on this topic
  • Research and write a literature review of relevant criticism in fairy tale studies and Japanese and Australian literary studies
  • Produce drafts for progressive deadlines, towards a written report at the end of the project that responds to feedback

Suitable for:

  • Students majoring in areas related to literary studies, cultural studies, Asian Studies, Japanese or similar
  • Applications are open students in their second year or later
  • Students should be able to read and write well in English
  • Students who have an advanced Japanese reading level are especially welcome, though Japanese language ability is not a requirement for this project

Further info: 

Please contact Dr Lucy Fraser (l.fraser2@uq.edu.au) prior to application submission, with a few sentences about their suitability for and interest in the project.


 

Food, gender and humour in the poems of Ishigaki Rin (1920-2004)

Project duration: 5 weeks

Description: 

This project is a part of a larger interdisciplinary project on Food and Literature. It examines food, eating, and cooking in selected poems of the acclaimed post-war poet, Ishigaki Rin (1920-2004).
From her first collection of poems, Watashi no mae ni aru nabe to okama to moeru hi to (The Pan, the Pot, the Fire I Have before Me, 1959) onwards, food-related motifs permeate Ishigaki's works, almost always linked to gender issues faced by women and girls, as survivors of the war, as working women, as daughters, as single women, and as retired women.

The project combines theories of food, gender and literature with studies of literary humour, with a specific focus on gentle and black humour, satire, and parody in Ishigaki's poetry.
Although Ishigaki is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential poets of the post-war period, only a small portion of her poems has been translated into English. Critical work in English on Ishigaki is also extremely limited.
The project will expand knowledge of food in literature as well as studies of modern Japanese literature, especially women's poetry, and gender studies.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Students will participate in the following tasks:

  • Collection of theoretical and critical literature (mainly in English) as instructed by the supervisor and compiling an annotated bibliography. The student will develop/strengthen their research skills in Japanese and comparative literary/cultural studies.
  • Identification and classification of food, cooking, eating motifs in the selected poems both in Japanese and in translation, in consultation with the supervisor. This will enhance the student's advanced analytical reading skills in Japanese. Furthermore, it may give some insights into poetry translation.

At the end of the project, students will submit an annotated bibliography, complete analytical data (in tables as instructed), and a brief report on the benefit of the project to their own study.

Students are strongly encouraged to develop their own advanced undergraduate, Honours, or postgraduate projects in Japanese literary/cultural/translation studies using the knowledge and techniques acquired in these projects.

Suitable for:

The project requires advanced Japanese reading skills (preferably JAPN32xx level or above) and at least some knowledge of literary studies (if not modern Japanese literature).
Since the project deals with post-war Japanese poetry, prior knowledge of Japanese society in this period (i.e. second half of twentieth century)  would be helpful. An interest in modern Japanese poetry would also be advantageous.

UQ students planning to do Honours or Research Higher Degree in Japanese literature/culture would be given priority.

Students with Japanese skills but without prior knowledge of literary studies or students with literature background but with limited Japanese skills would also be  considered, especially if they are interested in furthering their studies in Japanese literature.

Further info: 

Please contact Associate Professor Tomoko Aoyama (t.aoyama@uq.edu.au) prior to application submission (by email only, as she will be on SSP until 20 July).