Prof Ioan Trifu’s journey at SDAC

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In the ever-evolving landscape of academia, transitions mark the chapters of growth and change. Our seasoned senior lecturer at SDAC, Dr. Ioan Trifu, bids adieu to our department, embarking on a new chapter as he takes his wealth of knowledge and experiences to Japan. As we celebrate the profound impact he has made on our community, let’s take a moment to reflect on the journey that brought him to this pivotal moment.


A Journey through Academia

Dr. Ioan Trifu’s academic journey is a captivating tale that begins in the cities of Lyon and Paris, where a passion for history ignited a spark that would fuel a lifelong commitment to both research and teaching. A historian and a political scientist with particular focus on modern and contemporary developments, his journey weaves through diverse disciplines. Not only had he worked on the transformation of the democratic state with attention on Japan, but his research also examines topics such as political leadership, decision-making, and policy change by incorporating an institutional perspective as well as the emotional and symbolic dimensions of politics.


Experience at SDAC

Having become a part of SDAC’s community, Dr. Ioan Trifu shared insights into his experience. According to him, the program’s uniqueness lies in its interdisciplinary dialogue, where anthropologists engage in discussions with specialists in political history, literature studies, and other diverse fields. The international atmosphere, with students hailing from various corners of the globe, adds depth and richness to the academic environment. Dr. Trifu also mentioned that smaller number of students in the class increases the chances of one-to-one student and teacher interaction, thus making learning more personalized. He also reflected the dynamic mode of pedagogy he adopted, to make it easier for the students from diverse backgrounds to advance on same pace and ensure an inclusive classroom environment.


What Sets SDAC Apart

Reflecting on the differences between SDAC and other higher education institutes, Dr. Trifu emphasizes the program’s forward-thinking approach. SDAC, with its focus on teaching in English as a lingua franca, students from a multitude of nationalities, and an open interdisciplinary approach, stands as a beacon of advanced education in comparison to many universities. Diversity, in all its facets such as gender, age, social background, and cultures, is a guiding principle when decision-making is taught at SDAC.


Memorable Teaching Moments

When asked about memorable teaching experiences, Dr. Trifu shared the joy of facilitating discussions between students from East Asia and those with no prior exposure. This dynamic exchange, where students challenge perspectives and bring fresh insights, encapsulates the essence of education at SDAC—a collaborative and transformative journey.


Japan Project Overview

Looking ahead, Dr. Trifu outlined his upcoming projects in Japan. Sharing his experience of studying the transformative impact of historical relationships on politics, the senior lecturer is now about to research the profound consequences of natural disasters on state, politics, and democracy in Japan.

In doing so he will look into the relationship between disaster and memory, and how it transforms people’s perception about future. Not only will he delve into studying the impact of natural disasters on political authority, local governments, and actors, but also on people and victims. For this he plans to adopt a methodology involving a mixed approach of quantitative and qualitative research, embracing political anthropology, ethnographic research, and archival exploration. He also plans to benefit from the oral historical traditions of the region. This methodology, he believes, will not only help understand who the victims and their perspective are of what has happened and how things are unfolding and what political actors, public administrations, and local governments do in such a time. But also, will help him understand long term perspectives, built as a result of such disasters.


Future Collaborations

Exciting collaborations await Dr. Trifu with the faculty at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. This partnership will not only contribute to his research but also aligns with SDAC’s commitment to providing students with diverse perspectives on Asia, an experience he rejoiced, that will also help him with his new endeavor.


Advice for Incoming Students

Drawing from his own experiences, Dr. Trifu offers practical advice for incoming students. He emphasizes the importance of early engagement with academic texts and encourages students to embrace the challenges while enjoying the transformative experience of studying abroad.


As we bid farewell to this enlightening conversation with Dr. Trifu, it is evident that his journey embodies the essence of SDAC’s commitment to fostering a diverse, collaborative, and forward-thinking academic community. We extend our gratitude for his invaluable contributions and wish him the very best in upcoming academic pursuits.