Fall 2010 Topical Courses

Am St 2120 (801) American Popular Music: Politics and Culture

An examination of the ways in which popular music has been used in America to articulate and support political ideologies and how that music often plays an integral role in the advancement of social and political causes. The course will focus primarily on the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on the urbanized folk music of the 1930s to the 1960s and on rock music from the 1950s to the present.

Art Hist 2097 (801) / As St 2096 (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 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 2096 (802) / 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 (803) Anime in Japanese Popular Culture I

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 (804) Samurai Themes in Japanese Cinema and Text

The course explores major themes of samurai honor, manliness, and the ethical use of the sword, and the ongoing meaning of the samurai tradition in contemporary Japanese culture. Students engage in analysis and discussion of literary and philosophical texts, documentaries, and films. Special attention is given to the Ako Vendetta (the 47 ronin) and the treatment of samurai sexuality in Edo Period literature. All readings are in English translation.

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!

FMA 4250 (801) Short Film 1

To be announced.

Hist 4696 (801) / As St 4096 (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.

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.

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.

NMIC 4040 (801) / FMA 4240 (801) Tokyo Stories

The program utilizes New Media technology and Locative Media approaches. The class originated at Temple University Japan, and is part of the New Media Interdisciplinary Concentration major. The goal of the course is to introduce students to the concept of locative media by researching and creating a set of connected annotations about a specific neighborhood of the city. Students will use methods of cultural and visual anthropology to document facets of these neighborhoods with text, pictures and recordings. These place-based annotations will be connected and archived using a variety of digital technologies (primarily the web and mobile telephones). Students will view examples of current "best practices" in locative media, and create group projects that will add to a Temple map archive of urban narratives. Students will create their own narratives from sets of "connected annotations" that define a path through the city.

Pol Sci 4310 (801) Democracy, Peace and Human Rights

In this seminar class we study the theory and practice of humanitarian intervention. We investigate the claim that a norm of humanitarian intervention has emerged in international society since the end of the Cold War, through case studies of the major interventions that have taken place in the last twenty years. Case studies include Iraq 1991, Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq 2003, and Darfur. Students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of each of the specific cases listed above, and develop the capacity to evaluate the legality, legitimacy and effectiveness of humanitarian intervention in general. We will study the UN Charter in detail, and consider the extent to which the 'responsibility to protect', an influential concept that has been endorsed by the UN, can guide us in our future debates about when to intervene in other sovereign states for human protection purposes.

Pol Sci 4320 (801) / As St 2000 (801) 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.

Wom St 3000 (801) / Psych 3620 (801) / As St 3000 (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.

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.