Regional Studies, Student Engagement

CURA Spotlight: Kyoko Matsukawa


Speaker: Kyoko Matsukawa (Konan University)

Moderator: Aashish Karn (Georgetown University in Qatar, Class of 2023)

Location: CIRS Conference Room, Georgetown University in Qatar

On March 5th 2023, CIRS organized its first CURA Spotlight roundtable event of the semester with Dr. Kyoko Matsukawa, Professor in the faculty of Letters and the Director in General of the Konan International Exchange Center at Konan University in Kobe, Japan. The workshop was offered under the CIRS Undergraduate Research Advancement (CURA) Program, and was moderated by a CURA Student Assistant, Aashish Karn. Elizabeth Wanucha, the Operations Manager of CIRS, opened the event with a description of the CURA Spotlight initiative and introduced the moderator. The session, then, progressed into a brief introduction of the guest speaker, Dr. Matsukawa and the structure of the event by Aashish. The moderator and the guest speaker had a discussion for the first half of the session and then moved on to taking questions from the audience. The moderator initiated the discussion by inquiring about the graduate education experience of Dr. Matsukawa. Aashish began by asking Dr. Matsukawa about her research interests and how she became interested in anthropology. Given the expertise of the guest speaker in anthropological research in South Asia and the Gulf, the discussion was directed by a series of questions from the moderator which focused on Dr. Matsukawa’s experience in conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the region. The discussion also focused on Dr. Matsukawa’s experience in conducting ethnographic research among the Goan population in India and gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities of conducting fieldwork in a cross-cultural context. During the event, Dr. Matsukawa shared some of her key findings and reflections on the research process, including the methods she used to build a
rapport with the local community, navigate cultural differences, and document her participant observations. Dr. Matsukawa also answered a set of questions on her research interests on the transnational community and citizenship of Indian expatriates. The Spotlight event concluded with a question about Dr. Matsukawa’s future research plans. Finally, the event progressed into a Q&A session where the moderator took questions from the audience for the guest speaker which were centered around the research of the speaker. In the engaging Q&A session with Dr. Matsukawa, students asked various questions about her research, the broader scholarship her research deals with, and her own experience on the role of
ethnography in contemporary anthropological studies.