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Study Group on Art and Margins

Projects Led by Graduate Students at Ars Vivendi in Academic Year 2009

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◆Research Topic: Building a Bridge between Art and “Disability/Aging/Illness/Differences”

◆Project Members: Four Individuals in Total * Affiliations are as of Academic Year 2009
WATANABE Aiko  Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University Representative
IKEDA Masahiro  Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University
KASHIMA Moeko  Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University
SHINOGI Ryo  Postdoctoral Fellow, Kinugasa Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University

◆Advisory Professor:AMADA Josuke

I. Topics and Contribution to the Global COE Program Ars Vivendi
(1)Topics, Objectives and Impacts
This project will include the collection and analysis of writings concerning the appreciation/experience of the cultural artistic practices or cultural artistic products of people with a disability/illness. Interview surveys of those who have been engaged in these practices and others involved such as volunteers and coordinators will also be conducted. This research will examine the question of how these elements have been positioned in history and bring together a variety of related disciplines such as art, psychiatry, disability studies, and social welfare studies. These are the aims that are to be pursued by setting up this research group.

(2)Contribution to the Global COE Program Ars Vivendi
The research content of this project, along with comprising an important part of the lives of people with disabilities and illnesses, also constitutes a stimulating field of research combining distinct fields within the social sciences in Britain and America. In Japan, however, insufficient research has been carried out in these fields, and both research concerning people with disabilities or illnesses and research concerning art are seen as discrete, localized fields of study. For this reason, the promotion of this project can be expected to create an important center for systematically studying the connection between art and people with a disability or illness.

II. Research Plan, Method and Publication of Research Products
Each member will report on their research, interviews with information providers who have hands-on experience with disabilities and art/performance will be conducted (interviews with members of “Dance&People”, “Museum Access View”, and “Mekurumeku Kamishibai”are planned). This group will also invite guests to public research seminars held on a bimonthly basis and will map reviews and arrangements of previous research from both Japan and other countries in distinct fields (disability studies, art, psychoanalysis, art therapy, anthropology, etc.). During this academic year we will focus on gathering materials on art and “disability/aging/illness/differences” in Japan from the 1950s and 60s onwards. Research on art in relation to “disability/aging/illness/differences” conducted in other countries is not sufficiently well known in Japan, and we will endeavour to introduce it through translation or survey papers. In particular we will analyze the writings on art and disability included in Davis, Lennard J., The Disability Studies Reader : second edition, New York, London: Routledge, 2006, a collection of leading research on disability studies in the English-speaking world. A foundation based on the results of research meetings, interviews, etc. reported at the “Art meets care” conference in December 2009 and the Ars Vivendi Center report looking towards the next academic year will be established, and related items such as “disabilities and media/art” and “art brut/outsider art” will be added to the website. In the next academic year there are also plans to invite people active in various related fields to give lectures and create a space for open debate on these issues.

Translated by Robert Chapeskie
Proofread by KATAOKA Minoru
UP:February 1, 2012 REV :
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