Invitational Fellowship for Research in Japan: IMS Professor Experience

Professor Emilia Jamroziak received an Invitational Fellowship for Research in Japan, which involved participating in a conference, running a workshop, networking with medievalists, and more.

Emilia Jamroziak (Professor of Medieval Religious History, University of Leeds) received an Invitational Fellowship for Research as a guest of Dr Toishio Ohnuki (Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Okayama University) from February to March 2019. Professor Jamroziak was hosted by Okayama University in Japan, and the fellowship was sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

While in Japan, Professor Jamroziak participated in an international conference, presented a workshop, networked with other medievalists, spoke at a guest seminar, and discussed further collaborations. Professor Jamroziak called the fellowship 'really rewarding - both in terms of short and longer-term research goals, developing institutional cooperation and learning about the Japanese University system, Japanese history, and culture'. 

Fellowship Details

JSPS, the organisation that sponsored the fellowship, strives to provide comprehensive support for researchers who boldly take on challenges that spur the pioneering of knowledge across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. 

Invitational Fellowships provide overseas researchers who have excellent records of research achievements with an opportunity to conduct collaborative research, discussions, and opinion exchanges with researchers in Japan. This programme is intended to help advance the research activities of overseas researchers while promoting advanced research and internationalisation in Japan. 

Activities and Opportunities 

Professor Jamroziak participated in and presented a paper at the international symposium 'Pastoral Care and Monasticism: ca. 800-1650'. This conference, part of the Series of International Symposiums on the History of Monasticism, was held from 1-2 March 2019 at Okayama University, and was co-organised by Dr Ohnuki, Professor Jamroziak's host. Professor Jamroziak described the conference as 'comparing Japanese and European medieval and early modern monastic culture'. 

In addition, Professor Jamroziak ran a workshop, 'at the resquest of my host'. It was presented for the Japan Society for Medieval European Studies, open to Early Career Researchers, held at Tokyo University on 6 March 2019. This focused on 'how to make the most from participation in the International Medieval Congress (IMC) that takes place every year at the University of Leeds'. The IMC draws medievalists from over 60 countries and is Europe's largest forum for sharing ideas in Medieval Studies, and Professor Jamroziak hoped that 'my workshop will encourage more Japanese Early Career Researchers to take part and present their research'. 

As well as the workshop, Professor Jamroziak also gave a guest seminar for students in the European History MA programme at Okayama University. The topic Professor Jamroziak focused on was 'the introduction to medieval Latin palaeography - and it was a great experience to see how Okayama students enthusaistically took to the exercises'. 

Professor Jamroziak described the importance of networking opportunities: 'The fellowship gave me an opportunity to meet and talk with many medievalists working at leading universities in Japan and this gave me a very good sense of how vibrant the field is, and the range of projects and approaches'. 

The Fellowship gave me an opportunity to meet and talk with many medievalists working at leading universities in Japan and this gave me a very good sense of how vibrant the field is, and the range of projects and approaches.

Both Dr Ohnuki and Professor Jamroziak research medieval Cistercian monastic social and cultural history, and the fellowship provided an opportunity for discussion about their research, which resulted in 'many synergies that we have discovered'. These conversations have prompted a 'detailed plan for a joint article that grew out of the conference'. 

Finally, Dr Ohnuki and Professor Jamroziak intend 'to establish a further formal collaboration between the Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) at the University of Leeds and the Japan Society for European Medieval Studies to take up further ideas that emerged during the workshop'.

Ultimately Professor Jamroziak warmly thanked Dr Ohnuki 'for the hospitality, warm welcome, and for introducing me to many important medieval studies scholars in Japan', as well as 'explaning pre-modern Japanese history and culture'. Describing the fellowship as 'a deeply enriching and positive experience', Professor Jamroziak stated that she looked forward to 'future cooperation producing more collaborative research'.