The third session of the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS) took place on September 17, 2020. Phillip Lipscy (University of Toronto) chaired the seminar and moderated the question and answer session.
Amy Catalinac (NYU) discussed research framing, drawing on her own research to argue that using Japan to try to understand something general about the world can be an effective way to appeal to a wider audience in political science. Yusaku Horiuchi (Dartmouth) described his experience as faculty outside of the United States, explaining the struggles he endured but also the insights he gained. He suggested that Japan scholars should aim to write the best paper possible rather than trying to aim for lower-level journals. Dan Smith (Harvard) emphasized the importance of cultivating professional networks and making effective use of public engagement and social media. Charles Crabtree (Dartmouth) provided advice about approaching the job market, emphasizing how candidates should place Japan in a broader context to increase appeal, apply broadly, and practice self-care in a tough market. Christina Davis (Harvard) described some of the challenges of finding the right balance between Japan expertise and scholarship that appeals to the broader political science community.
The session attracted over one hundred participants, a new record for JPOSS. An active Q&A session included additional words of wisdom from Tom Le (Pomona), Susan Pharr (Harvard) and Hiroki Takeuchi (Southern Methodist) on topics such as how to approach advisors to secure strong letters of support and differences between research and teaching universities.
The organizers would like to thank the presenters, discussants, and participants, as well as the staff at the Harvard Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, who provided administrative support. We look forward to seeing you at the next session of JPOSS: https://jposs.org/