I Want to Learn How to Think Beyond Academic Disciplines

Nanjing University Intensive Lecture Series
(for Students in Nanjing)
Fiscal Year 2016 "Color"



You can see the real-time updates and the situation of field-work training during the intensive lectures at Nanjing University on Facebook .

A poet once said “A (a)is black, E(u)is white, I(i)is red, U(yu)is green and O(o)is blue”.

Colour does not exist as a thing.

It is said that the ‘Green flash’ brings happiness but it does not come from something green. Shadows seem blue under good weather but something blue does not exist there. It does not mean that the phenomenon of ‘colour’ is an arbitrary choice. The perception follows physical, mental and cultural processes. As a result, we sometimes see the same thing as different colours and the different senses bring the perception of colour (synesthesia). The colours which we experience, get deep into our life and enhance it in various ways. Colours are closely linked with our feelings (Goethe’s Zur Farbenlehre, which contains his thoughts on colour is an essential reference). Colours become an expression of social status. (For example, Stendhal’s Le Rouge et le Noir in Western literature. The system of kani jūnikai (first system to rank officials into twelve levels in the history of Japan)). Colour becomes a serious principle of social distinction (racial discrimination!). Iro (Colour in Japanese) is the word which is strongly linked with a desire in Japanese culture. It indicates not only something which stirs up people’s desire (shikiyoku (lust) and iroke (sex appeal)) but also becomes an expression of the whole temporal things (shikisokuzekū (All is vanity) in Buddhism). This intensive lectures will approach the phenomenon of ‘colour’ which has a vast extent using the way of several lectures given by the interdisciplinary lecturers.

This is the new seminar of the all campus research project which attend classes given by Komaba lecturers and undertake a collaborative research with native students at the oversea university. The omnibus intensive lecture series are going to be held at Nanjing University in March 2016 in China. Students who enroll in this programme will participate in this lecture series for a week. The aim of this programme is to promote an internal exchange in the University of Tokyo as well as an international exchange.

The Liberal Arts Programme (LAP) which holds this lecture series, is an educational programme which shows the liberal arts education of the University of Tokyo overseas. It held the interdisciplinary lectures which gave various views for one theme each year. The first lecture was ‘Body Theory’ in 2010. We hope that the participants from the University of Tokyo will walk the town of Nanjin and ‘re-examine’ the life of people there with the students of Nanjin University.

The explanation of the enrollment will be given at the guidance.

*the first semester: a seminar of the all campus research project

* the number of Students: 20 (undergraduates and postgraduates altogether)

* Location: the Guidance and the Preliminary Lecture will be held at Room 150, Building #1 at Komaba. Intensive Lectures will be held at Nanjing University.

* The date: Guidance: 24th September (Thursday), 6th period (18:45~20:30) at Room 150, Building #1 and the date of the Preliminary Lecture will be informed there. The Intensive Lectures will be given from 6th to 20th of March, and students in two groups will stay in Nanjing each for a week.

* Expenses: Part of the cost for transportation and stay will be paid by the participants, details of which will be explained at the guidance. An overview of the Lecture Series will also be explained at the guidance.


Passed or not will be judged by the reports


The applicants must attend the Preliminary Lecture and must submit a report. For the date of the Guidance and the Preliminary Lecture, see the homepage of LAP.