Spring 2007 Topical Courses

Am St 0100 (801) Hip-Hop Culture: African Origins to Urban America

This course examines hip-hop culture and its relation to American & African American Culture in general. We will examine the historical origins of hip-hop culture from the Griot oral tradition in Africa up to the current global impact on youth consumption, imitation, appropriation, and customization (in particular, Japanese youth) of trends that have been spawned by the hip-hop culture in the U.S.A. We will also look at how hip-hop culture is a multi-dimensional phenomena and not simply a "style".

Art Hist W306 (801) / As St W304 (801) Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art

The course explores visual cultures of modern and contemporary Japan (1868 to the present). Students will examine the conceptual complexity as well as the historical diversity of modern Japan's visual culture through critical readings and close visual analysis of actual works. The course will be conducted as a seminar, and each student will find a research topic of his or her interest that will result in an oral presentation and a written paper at the end of the semester. Previous course(s) in art history and/or Japanese studies is strongly recommended; please contact the instructor (nmurai@tuj.ac.jp) to determine appropriate background knowledge for the course. Note: there will be several required fieldtrips to museums and galleries in the Tokyo area.

As St 0303 (801) / FMA 0292 (801) The Period Films of Akira Kurosawa

Devoted to the period films of Akira Kurosawa, with explications and discussions. The emphasis will be on the period film (jidaigeki) as a genre and how it was enlarged and defined.

As St 0304 (803) Japanese Music

An extensive introduction to hougaku, the traditional music and performing art of Japan. Apart from covering the basics of Japanese music history and its theory, the course concentrates on hougaku as a living tradition and includes frequent in-class live performances by some of Japan's best hougaku performers and much use of audiovisual materials.

As St 0304 (804) Anime in Japanese Popular Culture

Japanese 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 anime, adopting an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from the fields of history, art history, anthropology, sociology, and literature and film. Each week a new issue will be examined to give a valuable insight into key aspects of Japanese culture, including the transformation of gender roles and powerful girl super hero anime such as Sailor Moon; the birth of the otaku subculture; apocalyptic visions of the future in science fiction anime such as Akira, and Ghost in the Shell.

BTMM 0289 (801) TUJ Podcast

Students are immersed in the fundamentals of digital radio technology, software applications and traditional sound recording techniques. Students write and produce various programming genres at professional standards to be aired on the college podcast. The role of "producer" is highly stressed, with each student coordinating various programming segments. On-air training and post-production duties run throughout the semester.

BTMM 0289 (802) TUJ Film Festival Management II

TUJ's film festival is a place for student filmmakers to gain exposure and interact with professionals. In this course students will organize this festival, providing them with practical experience in the elements of post production and film marketing. The main focus of this second term is on entry selection, subtitle production, marketing strategy development and creation of PR materials.

Cr La 0223 (801) Japanese Communication and Culture II

This course focuses on more Pragmatics (the use of language in the real world).

Cr La 0370 (801) Advanced Japanese Reading I

This course is the post advanced Japanese course for those who have finished Critical Language 271 (Advanced Japanese II) or equivalent level. Students will learn various techniques of reading, including intensive reading, extensive reading (speed reading) and newspaper reading. Reading materials will be taken not only from textbook but also authentic materials, such as magazines, advertisements, and newspapers. It is aimed to improve Kanji and grammar skills as well. Note, students will get credit for Critical Language 370, Japanese Independent Study I.

Engl 0150 (801) / Am St 0154 (801) Asian American Literature

This course surveys Asian American literature from its conception in the 19th century to its most recent developments. The course includes a close reading and critical analysis of prose, poetry, and plays from writers such as Sui Sin Far, Carlos Bulosan, Toshio Mori, Mary Paik Lee, Frank Chin, Bharati Mukherjee, Amy Tan, and Sara Suleri. Principally, the course identifies its subject matter as complex and eloquent cultural expressions reflecting unique, as well as ubiquitous, national experiences.

Hist 0102 (801) / As St 0304 (802) Peace, Conflict, and Social Change

This course addresses the question of conflict/violence from domestic, local, national, and international perspectives using particular case studies. Introductory material includes a general discussion showing case studies of violence and conflict resolution at these various levels. The course also incorporates some discussion of human rights plus theoretical and pragmatic alternatives to violence. It also considers a number of key themes: the family, racial conflict, economic and political violence. In the final weeks of the semester, students are encouraged to consider options for the peaceful resolution of case studies discussed during the semester.

Hist 0194 (801) / As St 0303 (803) The History of Korea

The dynamics of contemporary North and South Korea cannot be fully appreciated without a basic knowledge of the peninsula's recent history. Our task in this class will be to gain this knowledge by surveying Korea's modern history (from 1850 to 1950). How did the interplay of domestic and foreign challenges over this period influence the present state of the Korean peninsula is the question that will focus our lectures, readings, discussions, and written requirements.

Hist W388 (801) / As St W300 (801) The Japanese Occupation of Southeast Asia

A focus on Japan's occupation of Southeast Asia between 1942 and 1945 and related topics. Designed primarily for history majors, this course emphasizes research and writing skills. Seminar presentations and a research paper are required.

NMIC 0394 (801) Neighborhood Narratives

This course will introduce students to the concept of locative media and 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.

Pol Sci 0316 (801) / As St 0303 (802) Nationalism in Japan: Past and Present


Pol Sci 0327 (801) / GUS 0305 (801) / As St 0303 (804) NGOs and International Development

This course will give the students a comparative overview of development theory, with a focus on Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) in/and South Asia. The students will be introduced to the main theoretical perspectives in development studies and encouraged to view development issues from various viewpoints, including the social, economic, political, and historical. The concept of "development" itself, as well as the interlocking set of circumstances that have helped make certain states developed and kept others from becoming developed will be discussed and the impact of globalization on poverty, and the situation of the absolute poor, will be highlighted.

Course supported by a donation from Philip Morris Japan K.K.

Pol Sci W340 (801) The Politics of Empire

Most of history is the history of empires. The nation state with its narrow ethnic focus and forced integration, its constant mobilization of psychic energies in collective rites, and its self-destructive distributive policy may soon prove to be an ephemeral entity. This course looks into the specifics of empire in contrast to the nation state.

Psych 0326 (801) / As St 0304 (801) Intercultural Marriage

This is an introduction to the major social and psychological aspects of Japanese-Western intercultural marriage. A brief historical introduction covers relevant aspects of general Japanese-Western interaction in history, as well as present-day Japanese attitudes towards Westerners (and vice versa). Different phases of reciprocal adjustment will be discussed, as well as the salient social and psychological reasons for potential conflicts in an intercultural marriage. Major factors are: differences in customs and values, male and female role expectations, living conditions, the role of the in-laws, medical matters, language, religion, politics, communication problems, need for friends, finances, social class. When raising their children, interculturally married parents may be challenged by differing attitudes towards being a father and a mother, education; and the children's feeling that they are "different" from other children. Despite many problems, intercultural marriage can be a tremendous positive challenge, which offers many chances for greater personal growth and deeper human and cultural understanding.

Psych 0326 (803) Infant and Childhood Development

This course examines human behavior from the perspective of four major areas including coverage of the cognitive, physical, social and emotional changes that occur in an individual's life, from the pre-natal period through childhood.

Wom St 0201 (801) / Psych 0326 (802) / As St 0304 (805) Prejudice and Discrimination in Japan

Japan is a country where discrimination and prejudice towards certain groups are not really visible to the public or part of public awareness, even for the very groups that discriminate against others. However, Japan has been going through social, economic, and institutional transitions which highlight the experience of groups that suffer discrimination and prejudice. This course focuses on how certain groups in Japan experience discrimination and prejudice - groups such as women, people with infectious diseases, foreign workers and residents, ethnic minority groups (buraku, ainu, zainichi), and people with physical and mentally disabilities. The course analyzes the nature of existing discrimination and prejudice from psychological perspectives and theories.

Wom St 0202 (801) / Hist 0192 (801) Women in the Middle East

This seminar explores the historical and contemporary conditions of Middle Eastern women from pre-Islamic Arabia in the seventh century to the present. It analyzes how women participated in and were affected by religion, colonialism, nationalism, revolution, and war. It also scrutinizes the political economies, religious movements, and cultural norms that seek to define, restrict, and/or expand women's roles and rights. Finally, it interrogates the ways in which different groups of Middle Eastern women express themselves, struggle for their lives, and negotiate their identities. By reading and discussing written works by Middle Eastern women, as well as writings about them by outside observers and scholars, this course not only challenges stereotypes about Middle Eastern women, but also the ways in which knowledge about them is produced and reproduced. It interrogates terms often used in discussions about Middle Eastern women like Arab and Muslim fundamentalism, misogyny, and patriarchy, on the one hand, and women's subordination, honor, and the veil, on the other. It seeks to understand not only how the status and position of women, as well as gendered systems and institutions, have changed over time, but also how women and images of women have been and continue to be used to shape larger discussions of political, social, and economic issues by people both inside and outside the Middle East. This course uses a variety of sources including primary firsthand accounts by Middle Eastern women, observations by Western colonial travelers and officials, studies by Middle Eastern and non-Middle Eastern scholars, as well as photographs and media. No prior background of the region is expected.