Cultural Exchange and the JET Programme - Power, Nostalgia and Emotions

27th February 2021

Cultural Exchange and the JET Programme - Power, Nostalgia and Emotions

JETAA Scotland are hosting a MEXT Scholars JETAA UK Academic Special Interest Group (SIG) Event all about how JET has been beneficial in changing attitudes towards Japan through grassroots diplomacy.


It is supported by the Embassy of Japan, The University of Sheffield, School of East Asian Studies And Japan Local Government Centre, London. This event is free and open to all JET and BAMS alumni and will be held on 19 March 2021 from18:00 -19:00. If you would like to attend the event please register via Eventbrite.

Sharleen Hughson PhD (University of Sheffield, School of East Asian Studies 2017 and Executive Secretary of the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee) will present her research on how the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET) and former BET and MEF schemes from the 1980s to 2010s contributed to positive engagement with Japan from bottom-up, exploring how memory and nostalgia are powerful tools for diplomacy.


This seminar examines the deep connections forged by JETs whilst they were in Japan. Sharleen’s past research concentrated on soft power from the bottom, however, found that a transmigratory form of nostalgia was key to maintaining the connections over time.


She found that the participants went through stages of imagining the unfamiliar through transmitted ideas, experiencing the realities of everyday life in the host communities that then led to a transformation of memory affixed to place that became beneficial for self-worth and long-term engagement with Japan after the programme.


This seminar is organised by the JETAA UK Academic Special Interest Group (SIG) [], one of a number of new SIGs for alumni wanting to use their JET experience and network professionally.

Event Schedule

5 min ​Introduction by Dr Peter Matanle from the University of Sheffield

5 min ​Overview of BAMS by Michael Cowell, Chair of BAMS

15 min ​Presentation on Past and Future Research on the JET Programme by Dr Sharleen Estampador-Hughson

15 min ​​Panel of former JET participants and MEXT scholars and Q & A from the audience.

10 min ​​Message from JETAA

10 min ​​Closing comments



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