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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

About Us

About Us

Japanese Philology

The basis of Japanese Philology in Zurich is the methodologically grounded and theoretically reflective engagement with Japanese texts and their subject-matter. This is the focus of the Chair of Prof. Dr. Raji Steineck Prof. Dr. Raji C. Steineck.

The Chair has two Teaching and Research Assistents (Assistenten), two Research and Teaching Fellows (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeitende) and one Senior Teaching and Research assistant (Oberassistenz).

The focal point lies on the thorough engagement with themes of intellectual history, philosophy and literature. Pre-modern intellectual historical processes, languages and literary forms are dealt with as well as modern themes connected to philosophical and literary questions.

The research focal points of staff at the Chair include:

  • Engagement with Japanese religion and philosophy from Kûkai to Karatani Kôjin from the perspective of the history of ideas and conceptual history.
  • Literary analysis of Japanese belles-lettres from antiquity to the present.
  • Theories of ethical and social critique in Japan.
  • Linguistic research into pre-modern and modern Japanese.
  • Gender Studies

Lectures and seminars at the Chair communicate subject-knowledge in the given topic areas, as well as the methodological and theoretical bases of research in Japanese Philology. Students acquire the ability to work with original language sources and research literature from the perspective of themes and questions in the humanities.

Social Science of Japan

Social Science of Japan is the focus of the Mercator-Chair Prof. Dr. David Chiavacci Prof. Dr. David Chiavacci. The Chair currently has two Teaching and Research Assistents (Assistenten) and a senior Teaching and Research Assistent (Oberassistenz).

The subject focus lies on contemporary Japan from the perspective of political science and sociology, as well as economics and business economics. Current and historical questions concerning Japanese society, economy and politics are treated in depth.

The research focal points of staff at the Chair include:

  • Social and Political Change in Contemporary Japan
  • Japan’s New Immigration and Immigration Policy
  • Markets and their Mechanisms in Japan

Alongside subject knowledge, foundational theories and methods of the social sciences are taught. In this degree program, students learn how to work on questions and topics in the social sciences with regard to Japan, also with the aid of Japanese sources.