Fall 2006 Topical Courses

Last update: June 29, 2006

Am St 0100 (801) Topics in American Culture: American English as Cultural Expression

An understanding of American and Japanese values and ways of thinking by investigating the ways language is used in these cultures to accomplish social purposes. Using various theories from the study of language, the course will study metaphoric language and thinking, the cultural assumptions involved in the use of key words, and the forms of politeness and patterns of language used in literature. The approach is analytical and comparative; assignments will emphasize students' application of concepts to a body of language data. [Rosenkjar, P.]

Am St W393 (801) Senior Seminar in American Studies: America on Film

An investigation of the role of film in American culture. Film's role as a reflection of current American culture, with all of its ideological, political, and social blemishes, is explored in-depth, with an emphasis on how the vast myth-making power of film has given reinforcement, and occasionally birth, to such legendary American archetypes as the gangster, the cowboy, the war hero, and others. Film's influence on the deconstruction of these same mythologies is also addressed. Note, this is a Capstone W course. Special authorization is required for all students. [Clark, W.]

Pol Sci 0316 (801) / As St 0303 (801) Special Topics in Asian Studies I: Japanese Politics Today

This course explores how Japan works. First, we will survey the structure of the policy making, resources that decision makers possess, and constraints that they face. Second, we will discuss political upheavals of the 1990s, their causes, and consequences. Finally, we will examine several areas of policy that have been at the center of debates. Topics include: political role of women; immigration; the media; and foreign relations. [Numata, C.]

Soc 0138 (801) / As St 0304 (801) Special Topics in Asian Studies II: Crime in Film

Crime in Film is a sociological treatment of crime and criminality as depicted in mass media. The course offers a broad survey of criminological discourses on diverse types of crime including interpersonal violence, corporate crime, terrorism, sexual assault and murder. Films are selected to represent prototypical themes and issues relevant to a sociological study of crime. The course will include a cross cultural comparison on how crime is conceived in Japan, and how cultural norms and traditions influence the way in which criminality is policed and socially sanctioned. [Cleveland, K.]

Cr La 0222 (801) Special Topics in Japanese I: Introduction to Consecutive Interpreting

This course focuses on improving the skills needed to provide English to Japanese and vice versa consecutive interpreting in various settings. It is designed to prepare bilingual individuals who have not previously served as interpreters, as well as those who have not received specific training. Students will learn consecutive interpreting techniques including memory retention, note-taking skills, terminology, and interpreter ethics. [Saito, H.]

Cr La 0222 (802) Special Topics in Japanese I: Japanese Communication and Culture I

This course focuses on Pragmatics (the use of language in the real world). The course attempts to raise students' awareness/consciousness about the fact that pragmatic rules of other languages are not always the same as those of their own, providing students with knowledge about how pragmatics rules operate in the Japanese speaking community and drawing their attention to mismatches and inconsistencies in behavior. The course deals with a variety of speech acts (e.g., greeting-parting, apologizing, requesting, refusing, accepting, complaining, negotiating, and complimenting), business discourse, paralinguistic features (e.g., gesture, facial expressions, distance, eye-contact), features of conversation (e.g., back channel cues, topic-change, turn-taking), Japanese culture including social distance and dominance, honorific expressions, pragmalinguistic failure and sociopragmatic failure. [Kawate-Mierzejewska, M.]

NMIC 0393 (801) / FMA 0391 (801) Topics in Film Study: Neighborhood Narratives

Neighborhood Narratives attempts to equip young minds with the opportunity to survey their own psychological landscape while understanding the cultural and geographical landscape of others. A video camera, a mobile phone, a flash audio recorder and, most importantly, an open mind to what surrounds us are all tools for geo-psychological mining. We study urban Tokyo and Japanese culture, it's complexities and mysteries. Originally conceived by Hana Iverson, an artist and visual documentarian, the Tokyo class shares viewpoints and projects with the Philadelphia campus. Cross-listed with FMA, BTMM, Journalism and New Media. [Staff, T.]

FMA 0392 (801) Topics in Production: NextFrame Production I

NextFrame Production I. [Neubert, K.]

Pol Sci 0316 (802) / As St 0303 (802) Special Topics in Asian Studies 1 : Issues in Human Rights - Human Trafficking

This course offers an introduction to an analysis of human sexual and labour trafficking in the Asia-Pacific and beyond. It will be placed within the postwar context of the "era of human rights" but asks whether anti-trafficking activists have achieved any substantial success in this important instance. Case studies from northeast,southeast and southern Asia will be presented to illustrate the complex regional connections between the recruitment zones of the third world, the "middle passages" and the destination areas of affluent urban centres. Attempts by nation-states, NGOs and international agencies to contain human trafficking will be discussed and the prospect of further reforms debated. Prominent human rights figures and government officials will be invited to the class to present their personal views on the present realities and future prospects of tackling a major source of regional and global inhumanity. [Buckley, R.]

Psych 0326 (801) Topics in Psychology: Culture and Psychology

What is the relationship between culture and psychology? This course will focus on the recent developments from the field of cross-cultural psychology and examine how the field of cross-cultural psychology is influencing psychology as a discipline today. [Zimmerman, S.]

Pol Sci 0310 (801) / As St 0304 (803) Seminar in Comparative Politics / Special Topics in Asian Studies II: Key Dynamics in Northeast Asia

This course focuses on four key themes - imperialism, nationalism, globalisation and security - in the context of three Asian countries: China, Japan and Taiwan. The historical and contemporary politics and international relations of the three countries are addressed in detail and the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the four themes are explored in depth. Consideration is also given to key bilateral relationships. The course requires students to consider methodological issues in comparative politics and to engage with both disciplinary and area studies literature. [Deans, P.]

Pol Sci 0316 (803) / As St 0303 (803) Seminar in International Politics / Special Topics in Asian Studies I: The Politics and Political-Economies of Korea

Divided Korea remains heavily in the news - security issues with the North, economic and political dynamics in the South, and a "Korea Boom" in cultural relations. This course provides analytical tools by which to understand Korea over the past century, from its colonial era through the politics of North and South, with an emphasis as well on competing and evolving political economies on both sides of the peninsula. Guest lectures, audio-visuals, and seminar-style discussions will be an important part of the course. [Satterwhite, D.]

Asian Studies 0304 (804) Special Topics in Asian Studies II: Manga in Japanese Popular Culture

The rich and varied world of Japanese manga and anime represent some of the most important cultural products to appear in Japan in the post war period, and an increasingly important part of global popular culture. This course offers a thematic study of manga as Japanese pop cultural texts, adopting an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from the fields of history, art history, anthropology, sociology, and literature and film. Each class a new issue from within the history of manga will be examined to give a valuable insight into key aspects of Japanese culture. [Sutcliffe, P.]