IV-3. “An Analysis of Evolving Trends in Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research in Southeast Asian Studies ” (R2-3 FY2020-2021)

  • Project Leader : Fujieda Ayako (Kyoto Seika University, Faculty of Hunanities)
  • Collaborators : Mario Lopez (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
  • : Nathan Badenoch (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
  • : Goto Makoto (National Museum of Japanese History, Research Department)
  • : Imai Keigo (Gifu University, Graduate School of Engineering)
  • : Umekawa Michihisa (Tokyo Univeristy of Technology, School of Computer Science)
  • : Shimizu Takao (Kyoto Seika University, Faculty of Humanities)
  • : Sonobe Taro (Kyoto University, University Research Administration Office)
  • : Ono Eiri (Kyoto University, Institute for Information Management and Communication)
  • : Kono Yasuyuki (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies)

Outline of Research

The purpose of this project is to analyze the emerging trends and impacts of interdisciplinary collaboration within Southeast Asian area studies. Through this project, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University, will construct a database based on researcher attributes and interdisciplinary joint research information that will identify temporal variables and the diverse network of researchers both within and outside the university. The project will examine 1) changes in interdisciplinary research themes, 2) dynamic network changes, 3) the qualitative characteristics of both the subjects and key researchers involved in research projects, 4) factors other than researcher attributes that influence research trends, and 5) the limits and possibilities of visualization for analyzing evolving research trends.


Amidst the demand for academic analysis of increasingly complex regional and global social issues, Japan’s area studies research plays a major role in cutting across a wide range of interdisciplinary fields that include not only the humanities and social sciences, but also the natural sciences. As such, it is important to understand the interdisciplinary nature of the type of Area Studies that has been fostered in Japan and highlight its potential.

This research focuses on Southeast Asian area studies and will clarify how interdisciplinary collaborations are developed and forged through visualizing qualitative and quantitative information about researcher networks and research activities across time and at multiple levels. Previous studies have focused on researchers themselves, employing the bounded frame of individual experiences, individual research results, and their respective institutions. In contrast, this study investigates the organic connections and interactive characteristics that have supported the development of interdisciplinary and multidimensional research.

Various research and scholarly works have discussed theories and methods of Southeast Asian Studies and Area Studies. However, few studies have scrutinized the interdisciplinary nature of the networks between researchers. As such, this project aims to bring a fresh perspective. The results of this project will be disseminated through English language research papers and presentations at international conferences where predominant Western concepts of Area Studies are prevalent. Ultimately it is hoped that analyzing interdisciplinary environments of collaboration will contribute to designing and constructing a suitable human resource environment that will better foster future Area Studies.

Visualization of the CSEAS
Researcher Network in KAKEN(1986-2020)

Changes over time in the CSEAS Researcher Network in KAKEN