Fall 2012 Topical Courses

Last update: March 14, 2012

Art Hist 2610 (801) Art and the Everyday

In the 1960s, many artists sought to blur the boundaries between life and art with new genres of art such as "happenings," "events," and "environments." Since then, artists have continued to focus on the ordinary, the trivial, and the unnoticed as both subject matter and sources of inspiration. This course covers key theoretical writings on the everyday by critics and philosophers such as Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, and Maurice Blanchot and considers different artistic approaches taken by such artists as varied as Dan Graham, Martha Rosler, and Rikrit Trivanija to address similar themes. Throughout the course, we will consider why artists and theorists have paid so much attention to the everyday when by definition it is the very aspects of life that tend to be overlooked. Particular attention will be paid to the potential of the everyday as revolutionary site and the uses of art as a way to create interventions in and otherwise critique everyday life.

As St 2000 (801) Youth and Deviant Subcultures in Japan

This course addresses the convergence of youth and popular culture, highlighting the performative aspects of youth subcultures in contemporary Japanese society. The course will examine how youth and popular culture are situated in relation to mainstream institutions, and discuss how alternative modes of cultural interaction develop alongside and in opposition to the defining cultural values of mainstream society. The course will look at the intensive communities of on-line cybculture and digital media networks, racial and political representation in Japanese Hip Hop and Punk music, the style subcultures of Goth[Lolita], Cos-play and their subcultural networks, and examine how youth culture embodies and creates new forms of cultural innovation in these various realms. In addition to examining the frontiers of evolving youth culture, the course will contextualize these novel subcultures by examining how Japanese society polices illicit behavior, by examining issues such as the Yakuza's role in society, sexuality, drug use and juvenile delinquency in the context of contemporary social change. We will also examine how counter-cultural priorities are being articulated through emerging media and transglobal networks, leading to novel forms of mediated identities and practices that defy institutional control. Through qualitative collaborative research projects, the course will allow students experiential opportunities to understand Japanese youth culture on its own terms. Taking advantage of TUJ's central-Tokyo location and association with popular culture networks in art, media and design, the course will include ethnographic site visits, and lectures by noted authorities on Japanese popular culture.

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!

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 4296 (801) Topic II: Business

Seminar in Japanese and Japan is a capstone course that builds on the solid foundation of advanced linguistics skills, socio-cultural knowledge, and critical thinking that students have acquired. It also marks their final stage of Japanese language learning. Three topics (Topic I: Socio-cultural, Topic II: Business, Topic III: Literature) are offered alternately and designed to allow students to select and pursue a topic of their interest. In the courses, students will learn to read critically and properly appreciate the original texts of a selected topic. While reading about socio-cultural aspects, topics/issues in business, or literature, students will further their understanding of Japanese language.

Lib Arts 2010 (801) International Career Strategies

The aim of this course is to help students develop a professional mindset. It is designed to explore the career competencies and strategies that are necessary to confidently and successfully transition from college life to the workplace or graduate school. Emphasis is placed on developing the skills necessary in an international career. Participants will use these skills throughout their working life as professionals, managers, executives, or entrepreneurs. This is not a lecture course. It is an interactive workshop giving business majors, in particular, a chance to develop and realize their career potential through exploring career options, preparing a strategy to launch a fulfilling career and improving written and oral presentation skills. The course should increase the student's ability to: Present professionally (in writing and in person), realistically assess talent and job potential, think critically and creatively about career options and start an international or domestic career search.

Pol Sci 4310 (801) Case Studies in Humanitarian Intervention

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.

Psych 4696 (801) Mental Lexicon

Concerned with the nature and the organization of the word store, or dictionary, inside the human mind, mental lexicon research is a core topic of psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology and cognitive science more generally. By looking at a number of different approaches to investigating the mental lexicon, such as visual word recognition research and, particularly, priming experiments, semantic memory, and concept theories, as well as the second language (L2) mental lexicon and artificial intelligence, this course reflects on how major theories of cognition, such as connectionism, emerge and develop and on how such theories are increasingly being informed by advances in neuroscience. The course aims to help students in developing their abilities to critically analyze and evaluate research articles and to write coherent research papers by appropriately synthesizing various findings from the research literature.

Art Hist 2097 (801) / As St 2096 (801) Japanese Art and Visual Culture: 1945 to Present

This course examines the development of Japanese art and visual culture in the postwar period. Instead of providing a linear history of formal developments, this course thematically explores some of the major theoretical issues that surround contemporary Japanese art and visual culture. Critical readings will provide social, historical, and political contexts for understanding a broad range of visual cultural practices including art, fashion, design, graphic novels, and films. Through the course we will consider topics such as the question of modernity and the West in Japanese art; underground art and political dissent in the 1960s; the rise of mass culture and design; roles of gender, cuteness, and fantasy; and representations of otherness and the myth of homogeneity.

As St 2096 (802) / FMA 3696 (801) Classical Japanese Cinema

In this course, we will study Japanese cinema in its "classical" period (roughly, 1930-1955), and discuss some relevant works of film theory and analysis. Through screenings and discussion of exemplary works by Ozu, Mizoguchi, Naruse, Kurosawa et alia, we will explore how classical Japanese film has represented gender, class, and nation, the family, love, marriage, and socio-political conflict. Beyond situating these films in their historical and cultural context, this course will prepare students to productively engage with concepts of film analysis such as: genre, narration, authorship, melodrama, ideology, national cinema, and classical vs. modernist cinema. Students will have an opportunity both to expand their critical understanding of cinema in general, and to hone the skills necessary to write effective, personal responses to films and film-critical texts.

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.

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