Course Syllabus

  • GSP376 Global Study Abroad (core) Developing Resilient Rural Communities in Japan and the United States (2013 Summer June 17 - July 31, 6 credits)

In this modern era where food, goods, information and people increasingly flow freely across borders along with the progression of globalization, not only are the cities that serve as logistical hubs heavily affected by these dynamic changes but also farming and mountain villages. For example, many residents of farming and mountain villages in Oregon, U.S. were able to make a living in the past by engaging in industries that relied on natural resources, i.e., forestry and stock farming. However, due to a reduction of overseas markets for forest materials, the abolishment or reduced tariffs of multinational treaties on various types of farm products, and more stringent regulations enforced on the development and use of various natural resources, has lead to an increase in natural conservation movements. Thus, many lumber mills were shut down and employment opportunities in stock farming and other agricultural businesses declined, causing an ensuing problematic effect of the young generation to move out of these counties and states. Likewise, in the farming and mountain villages of Japan, agriculture and forestry, which should be one of the key industries, have been weakening by the aforementioned reasons. While the regional economies have become stagnant and the aging population more prominent, revitalization of these local communities has been a pressing issue.

In this course, the students from Japan and the U.S. will jointly form teams to conduct field work in the farming and mountain villages of Yurihonjo City, Akita Prefecture and Wallowa County, Oregon, which differ socially, culturally and economically. Students will analyze the issues of each community from various angles to discover what constitutes resilience for these communities as well as the requisites for them to become resilient.

  • Dr. John C. Bliss (OSU)
  • Dr. Katherine MacTavish (OSU)
  • Dr. Yoshitaka Kumagai (AIU)
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