Spring 2010 Topical Courses

Am St 2063 (801) American Culture Abroad: Japan

In this course we will examine versions and varieties of American life that have become a part of Japanese society and culture. We have seen a tremendous curiosity for "things American" in Japanese daily life-but how has American culture taken shape in Japan? What kinds of transformations, reformulations and re-inventions have taken place? We will review Japanese adoptions and adaptations of language, "American" settings, architecture and design, foods and restaurants, clothing and fashions, popular films, television and advertising, and even holidays.

As St 2000 (803) Youth and Deviant Subcultures in Japan

To be announced.

As St 2000 (804) A Comparative View of Japanese Corporate Structure

This course will focus on the stylized features of the Japanese corporate structure, which have been identified as the sources of competitiveness. Each stylized feature will focus on a certain relationship of the firm with its stakeholders (i.e., bank, owners, laborers, suppliers, customers, and the government). By way of giving a point of reference, these features will be compared with the more conventional features of corporate structure.

As St 2096 (801) / FMA 3696 (801) Women in the Films of Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Naruse

This course will compare the ways in which three great directors - Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, and Mikio Naruse - dealt with the roles and positions of women in Japanese society. Special focus will be placed on analyzing how formal and stylistic devices and performance function in constructing women characters. The student will learn to draw on aesthetic, historical, and feminist perspectives in order both to achieve a deeper and more complex understanding of how films create meaning and to articulate this understanding in writing.

As St 3000 (801) 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 3890 (801) TUJ Film Festival

Work on the TUJ Film Festival.

FMA 2670 (801) Breaking Stereotypes - Gender Benders In Film

In this course we will examine how, why and to which effect courageous Western and Asian filmmakers in their most controversial works have tried to challenge the public by introducing as their protagonists so-called "gender benders" - people who transcend conventional gender roles. These movies were produced despite the obvious high financial risk: Genre films usually reconfirm gender stereotypes, because they have to harmonize with public attitudes or exploit social trends and process in a sensationalistic way to be successful with their target audience! By analyzing and evaluating these extraordinary productions, student filmmakers will understand the important relationship between message and success and gain tools to judge this risk for their own films. At the same time students will increase their intellectual repertoire for responding to sexism and other forms of social oppression by discussing the genetic, sexual, religious, socio-cultural, politico-economical implications of gender and how these might have been misused in society for the benefit of conservative powers.

FMA 4250 (802) Digital Documentary Filmmaking

An intensive exploration of documentary filmmaking that leads to the completion of a final film. A variety of non-fiction narratives and stylistic approaches are critically studied over the course of the semester. Close mentoring of individual projects is overseen by faculty. Alternative and experimental approaches are encouraged. Emphasis is placed on oral history and subject profiles. Students partake in the Doc Challenge, an international competition that sees the completion of a 7 minute film over 4 days.

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 3010 (801) Japanese Communication and Culture II

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

Japanese 3010 (802) Introduction to Consecutive Interpreting II for Native Speakers of Japanese

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 basic 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.

Jour 3700 (801) Reporting on the Middle-East

Explores topics related to news gathering in the Middle-East and related regions. Explores how news is gathered by various agencies in the region, with special emphasis on international perceptions and conflicts. Evaluates the impact of emerging agencies such as Al Jazera.

Pol Sci 4220 (801) Developing Nations

In this seminar students will consider more in-depth the concept of "development" and what it means to be a "developing nation" versus a "developed nation". Students will review why certain countries have been able to move away from the poverty trap while others are still trapped in a cycle of poverty and conflict. A comparative analysis will take place of countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam, India's and China's internal differences between rich and poor regions will be examined. Students will also examine more in detail the impact and effectiveness of international aid in developing nations. Some case studies will be determined at the beginning of term to respond to students' interests. The seminar will have a strong focus on reviewing and critical analyzing course materials, research and class discussions.

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.

Pol Sci 4320 (802) / As St 3000 (803) International Relations of East Asia

Is East Asia capable of similar levels of economic and political integration as found in Western Europe? How has East Asia's role in the international community changed? And what is its future? This course investigates the roles of the states of East Asia in the international system. We analyze the balance of power between states in the region and between East Asian states and the greater international community. The course starts by investigating how regional patterns of interaction are affected by historical legacies, political and economic interdependence, cultural change and international and domestic politics. It then progresses to address key topics in contemporary geopolitics, including the rise of China, North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship, and the changing nature of Japan's political power in East Asia and abroad.

Pol Sci 4896 (801) Utopia

Aristotle defined Political Science as the study of constitutions. From the dawn of Political Science utopia or the "absolutely best" constitution has been a fascinating object of a discipline which promises to give answers to how life should be organized. Utopia necessarily is both critique and hope. Plato's Republic, Augustine's the City of God, Thomas More's Utopia, Tommaso Campanella's The City of the Sun, Francis Bacon's The New Atlantis, Marx/Engels' The Communist Manifesto, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, and many more, by showing both pessimism in respect to the present and optimism in view of the future, have become part of our intellectual heritage. Some have mobilized millions, others have remained confined to small elitarian circles. Whatever the case, one thing is certain: as long as there is man there is utopia. And as long as there is utopia there is hope for man.

Psych 3620 (801) / As St 3000 (802) Japan and the West: A Social-Psychological Comparison

This course introduces the student to Japanese-Western similarities and differences from a social psychological perspective. Among topics to be covered are interpersonal relations in general, language use, nonverbal communication, child-rearing, male-female relationships, etiquette, reciprocal obligations and (such as gift exchange). Students will regularly submit their own observations on index cards under the general topic "What's Japanese about Japan?" These cards will be used in discussion sessions. This course will be conducted as a seminar that depends largely on participation in class discussion.