Quarter Abroad Japan - Instructor

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Japanese Language & Culture in Kyoto

Joseph Sorensen

Joseph Sorensen


Joseph Sorensen has taught at U.C. Berkeley, where he earned his Ph.D. in Japanese, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, before coming to U.C. Davis in 2005.  His research interests include the text-image relationship in classical Japan, particularly between court painting and traditional poetry in the 8th-12th centuries. More recently, his research has focused on the role of vernacular fiction and geographic place-names in court poetry.  He is also interested in traditional drama, art history, modern literature, and film.

About Teaching Abroad

The intensive Japanese Language and Culture program we offer at Seika University in Kyoto is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture, both traditional (tea ceremony, swordsmanship, ink painting, etc.), and contemporary (manga comic-books, electronics, anime, etc.). There is no better place to learn and practice your Japanese than where it is spoken by everyone! My favorite part of teaching abroad is that every excursion is a field trip—whether the more formally organized trips to castles, temples or other cultural sites, or just a simple trip to the grocery store! Opportunities to interact, learn customs, and appreciate the unique culture of Japan abound on a daily basis. These experiences invariably help students understand and appreciate their own culture from a new perspective as well. As Mark Twain once said, "Nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people."