@@Hello everyone. For today's symposium we once again welcome Professor Arthur W. Frank who came to this university and took part in lectures and discussions as part of a special public symposium, "Narratives, Trauma and Ethics: Welcoming Dr. Arthur W. Frank"
, held at our graduate school in June of 2008.
@@Professor Frank has also been serving as a member of the external evaluation committee of our Global COE Program "Ars Vivendi: Forms of Human Life and Survival, and visits us this time in this capacity as well. He is also a member of the Scientific Committee of our international journal, "Ars Vivendi Journal"
, the founding issue of which has finally been released. We must express our deepest thanks to Professor Frank for coming all the way from Canada to be here today. Thank you very much, Professor Frank. My name is Shinya Tateiwa. I am in charge of this program and the center it runs, but as a result of unavoidable circumstances I am not able to participate in today's symposium. I sincerely apologize for my absence. I hope it will be a very productive and worthwhile event.
@@These introductory remarks are meant to be brief, and there is nothing else I need to add. There is, however, one thing that this symposium calls to mind. During the 2008 event we had the Professor and several other individuals take part in a discussion on this dais. I remember that a discussion of the meaning and/or limits of the telling and retelling of stories had only just begun when we ran out of time and had to leave the debate unfinished. A record of this discussion was printed in a report
which is available here free of charge to any of you who would be interested in reading it. For roughly the past ten years the narrative approach has been widely adopted in Japan as well as overseas and many papers, some of which cite Professor Frank's work, having been written using this method. At the same time, however, while we - here of course it may be asked who this "we" refers to - have to a large extent accepted the importance of narrative description and the desire for meaning, I also feel that in some ways we may be too subdued or lacking in passion and enthusiasm. Where does this distance come from, and what are we to make of it? Rather than a general approach focusing on cultural differences, I think this subject must be addressed through detailed inquiries concerning, for example, specific illnesses and disabilities. Our center serves as a gathering point for people who study places where illness and disability intertwine and overlap and places where a wider range of people live while engaging in disability studies and the sociology of medicine, and as such I think it is in a favorable position to pursue this kind of work. I hope that this symposium will also provide an opportunity to discuss these sorts of issues, but this is just a thought offered by someone who will not be present himself to take part in this event. I am sure a wide variety of presentations will be given and a wide range of discussions held. I would like to close by once again stating my hope that this symposium will prove to be meaningful and productive and my belief that this will indeed be the case.
ARIMA Hitoshi & AMADA Josuke Eds.@January 30, 2009@Special Symposium "Narrative, Trauma and Ethics: Welcoming Dr. Arthur W. FRANK"
, Report Issued by Research Center Ars Vivendi of Ritsumeikan University, Vol.5, 243p. ISSN 1882-6539
Translation by Robert Chapeskie