My first impression of Williamsburg and William &Mary is that all of the people we have met, including local residents, are much more friendry than I have expected. Besides, the crimate here is comfotable, in contrast to humid Japanese summer season.
However, from what I can gather in about three days in Williamsburg, the biggest cultural difference is, as same as many of other Japanese say, that lectures in the U.S. college require us to interact with lecturers or other students. In Japan, all thing students should do is just listen to lecture. At first, this was uncomfotable but I came to enjoy the culture of making lecture together.
I hope to aquire ability to state my opinion in academic scene and to follow lectures, as well as English to communicate local residents. This is because I would like to acquire the Ph.D degree outside Japan, which brought me to this program.
Relating to the Dr.Kitamura’s lecture on August 6th,which is very interesting for me, I cast doubt two points. First, the lecturer introduced four definition of culture, including elite culture”Culture” and “popular culture” genereted by ordinary citizens. However, I think this two are just devision of culture, not definition.
Dr.Kitamura also explained the reasons why we should study culture. One of his statements is that by studying culture, we will be able to know much more about society than by studying economical aspects or political ones. However, as I previously mentioned in the lecture, I stand point of view that culture is on the basis of economical and political system. For example, Jazz, one of American modern music cultures, was created and enjoyed by many people after the World War Ⅰ. This is because around 1920’s , the U.S. economy was in an golden age and people could enjoy both peace and consumption. This example clearly illustrates that culture stands on economic and social states and these are not independent matter. This is the second point to cast doubt.
On August 7th, Professor Knight has given us a wonderful lecture, I have only one question. that is about the word “Locale”.According to the lecture, “Locale” is defined as a place where some events are or were done, distinguishied between other “Locale”.However, in modern society, owing to globalization, each event occured worldwide, not locally. These kind of thought is called “the Global History Theory” in Economic field. Based on the theory, for example, the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom was not the event that only the U.K. affairs. The exploitation by Britain expanded worldwide in order to accumulate capitals and wealth;.They used many slaves from Africa as labor forces, fight against China in 1848 and made India colony. This example implies that the word “Locale” is becoming more and more abstract. The professor Knight was kind enough to answer my question plane.However, because of my ability to understand spoken English, I could not fully understand his explanation.