Fall 2009 Topical Courses
Am St 4097 (801) 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.
Arch 3020 (801) Architectural Design Studio in Japan
This architectural design studio uses its location in the vibrant heart of Tokyo to help students develop important architectural design concepts, and to prepare them for the responsibility of shaping built environment on micro and macro scales. Students are asked to respond to the program of studio projects posed, understand the unfamiliar environment of Tokyo, identify important issues involved, and develop appropriate solutions. Emphasis is placed on skills critical to success in the architectural profession such as creative thinking, problem identification, concept articulation, and presentation using sketches, diagrams, drawing and CAD tools. The work of architects today is set against the global backdrop of severe environmental degradation and inequitable development. This course will seek to sensitize students to the sociological, ethical, financial, environmental implications of their future work and responsibility in an ever-shrinking global community. Design involves analyzing as well as synthesizing requirements of a client or community, and developing creative solutions to positively contribute to the future of individuals and communities. Strategies in goal setting, site planning, architectural and urban design, landscape and environmental design will be explored.
Arch 3070 (801) / GUS 3000 (801) / As St 2000 (802) Architecture and Urbanism in Japan
This course provides students an overview of architecture and urbanization in historic and contemporary Japan. Economic, socio- political and technological forces that have shaped the built environment and architecture in Japan are discussed. The work of contemporary architects in Japan is studied and analyzed. The course is intended to be a theoretical and analytical complement to the Architecture Design Studio. Analyzing and understanding the history of architecture in any culture is essential to creating appropriate architecture for the future. A systematic study of such developments in various cultural contexts opens the doors to creative thinking endeavors in the global as well as local contexts. This course also encourages students to undertake comparative analysis of design in Japan and in their home countries. The students are expected to engage in dialogue on the topics covered in class in an informed and thoughtful manner, and also be able to provide constructive criticism of the ideas presented by their classmates. A well researched term paper and presentation on a selected topic is required of all students.
As St 2000 (803) Japan in the Global Economy: Focus on East Asian Economic Development
This course is a survey of the international political economy of East Asia, concentrating on Japan's role in the economic development of the region. The course examines the political and economic dynamics of the region and relates these to the political economy of Japan and the rest of East Asia. It focuses on four strands of thought, which are deemed important in understanding Japan's role in the economic development of the East Asian Region. The strands are: shared growth; the flying geese model; self-help efforts; and economic integration of East Asia. The course also aims to promote an attitude of critical thinking towards such issues.
As St 2000 (804) / Japanese 3000 (803) Special Topics in Japanese I: Literary Tokyo
This course explores the literary representation of Tokyo by reading literature written in the past hundred years by authors such as Hayashi Fumiko, Higuchi Ichiyo, Kawabata Yasunari, Koda Aya, Mishima Yukio, Nagai Kafu, and Tanizaki Junichiro. By focusing on history and literature of Tokyo from the late Edo period to contemporary time, students will become familiar with shifting images of Tokyo while gaining deeper understanding in historical, social, and cultural backgrounds of this exciting metropolis.
As St 2096 (801) / FMA 3696 (801) Contemporary South Korean Cinema
South Korea boasts one of the world's strongest national cinemas and one of the few that are able to compete successfully with Hollywood. This course will examine recent South Korean filmmaking in terms of aesthetics, genre, culture, society, and politics. Through screenings and readings, we will look closely at how Korean films construct and question images of national identity, class, gender, and sexuality; how they reflect on the turbulent 20th-century history of Korea; and how they depict the tensions and contradictions of contemporary South Korean society. We will also explore the reasons for the critical and commercial success of Korean films both domestically and internationally. There will be a strong emphasis on exploring these themes through weekly writing and revision. Students will be required to develop their thinking about films through well-constructed analytical essays. Films screened will include both mainstream hits and art-house films by such directors as Im Kwon-taek, Hong Sang-soo, Kim Ki-duk, Lee Chang-dong, Park Chan-wook, and Bong Joon-ho.
As St 3000 (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.
As St 3000 (805) 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.
Engl 3010 (801) Men and Women in Literature
This course will explore the differences between male and female writers-their choice of style, subject, and point of view, as well as their treatment of theme. It will examine numerous male and female stereotypes in drama, poetry, and fiction. Sociological readings on differences between male and female value systems and male and female language will be included. The authors studied will include, among others, novelists Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf, poets Sylvia Plath and Robert Bly, and dramatists Lillian Hellman, and Arthur Miller.
FMA 2670 (801) Fringe Films and B-Movies
In this course we will examine the "art" and "unart" (a German expression for "misbehavior") of low and super-low budget filmmaking by analyzing a selection of movie history's most notorious moments. With special attention to trends in B-Movies, exploitation, trash and fringe filmmaking, we will anatomize the challenges and possibilities of such a cinematic approach. The student soon will discover those movies' creators' strong author's spirit, shameless ways of dealing with stereotypes and taboos, and quirky creativity. Consequently the student will acquire knowledge of techniques how to titillate an audience's palate despite poor funding and supplies - and that is by no means a matter of little significance for a beginning media professional!
GRC 3000 (801) Homeric Heroes and Gods
This course will focus on the representation of the Greek heroes in Greek mythology starting with the Homeric narratives. In this course, we will study the evolution of the heroic Greek figure, its place within the lives of the poleis and its relationship with the world of gods and the world of men. This course is especially recommended for students who already took the course entitled "Classical Greek and Roman Mythology".
Japanese 3000 (801) 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.
Japanese 3000 (802) Introduction to Consecutive Interpreting I
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.
Japanese 4182 (801) Oral Intensive III for Advanced Non-Native Speakers
This course introduces both theoretical and practical aspects of oral skills in Japanese, and is intended and designed for students who have successfully completed Japanese Advanced II and are now ready to move up to the final stage of language learning, their mastery of Japanese. In the course, students are first introduced to a theoretical frame, and mechanics/structures of different genres of speech forms. As a practicum, they perform or present their speech in class. Students are expected (1) to learn and master proper locutions, (2) to distinguish and use/vary different dictions to suit the audiences/settings, and (3) to be accustomed to "spontaneous talks." Note that though the course title bears "Oral Intensive," this course requires students' advanced reading/writing skills in order to prepare their speech scripts.
NMIC 4020 (801) Electronic Media in Live Performance
The relationship between the media and live performance is becoming a more serious question as our technology increases. How much does the media encroach upon the "purist" artistic realm of live performance? Are the lines being blurred through, for example, Internet sites that host live performances in virtual reality? Are rock concerts becoming merely "carbon copy" productions of their videos that dominate the music channels? The mediatization of live performance will explore some of the related theories that help to explain this exploding phenomenon along with an exploration and analysis of live performances in and around Tokyo and on the Internet.
NMIC 4030 (801) Hearing Objects: Artificial Intelligence and Sound
The course gives an introduction to simple concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI), i.e. the techniques used to program machines so they can act or think like humans. While many associate AI with futuristic robots, we also encounter it everyday with, say, Google or iTunes. The class will focus on the example of "how to give machines the ability to hear/listen like humans" (a strange example?). AI can be a fairly technical field, and the class will cover some of this complexity, in a way appealing to computer-savvy students (people with programming experience, welcome). However, we will also endeavor to invent new applications for such technologies and reflect on the impact these could have for society (people with design/art or film-making skills, welcome). Finally, some (most?) of our inventions will fail - for interesting reasons which will cast a new light on "how different are computers and humans", and "what is intelligence, anyway?" (people with psychology skills, welcome). The class will run in close partnership with the Design department of Tsukuba University, Japan; the SMC Summerschool of the 2009 Sound and Music Conference, Porto, Portugal, and ORELIA Inc., a technological start-up based in Fontainebleau, France.
Pol Sci 4410 (801) Democracy
This course is a study of the democratic model of political representation. Of particular interest will be the development of a theoretical model of democracy, the process of democratization in history, and the exploration of alternatives to democracy.
Wom St 3000 (801) / Psych 3620 (801) / As St 3000 (801) Eating Disorders Throughout History and Across Cultures
This seminar will begin with a discussion of contemporary epidemiology and clinical descriptions of the primary eating disorders. We will then pursue a study of eating disorders at earlier times in history and explore the ways in which the presentation and meaning of eating disorders have changed over the course of time. We will also study the emergence of eating disorders across the globe in recent decades and examine the role of culture in understanding the expression and meaning of eating disorders in different societies. Throughout this course we will discuss the ways in which eating disorders provide insight into the broader issues of societies in transition, cultural values regarding feminine beauty ideals, gender and gender role development. *This course will be conducted as a seminar that depends largely on participation in class discussion.
Wom St 3000 (802) / Psych 3620 (802) / As St 3000 (802) 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 3000 (803) / Psych 3620 (803) / As St 3000 (803) 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.