Fall 2013 Topical Courses

Last update: July 30, 2013

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.

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 2020 (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 3520 (801) Contemporary European Politics

The European integration project is facing unprecedented threats. The euro crisis has exposed profound weaknesses in its structures, leading some to question the future of the European Union itself. This course helps explain these momentous developments. Beginning with its origins in a war-ravaged continent, this module tracks the EU's steady progression towards "ever closer union" through successive phases of expansion, institution building, and the pooling of sovereignty. Emphasis then shifts to Europe's current troubles. These include the continued viability of the single currency, the EU's democratic deficit, and the danger that some countries may choose or be forced to leave. Finally, the course addresses the EU's future. Is this unique political entity destined to develop into a United States of Europe, capable of competing with the US and China on the world stage? Or is it more likely to disintegrate into bitter national rivalries and international irrelevance?

Pol Sci 4310 (801) World Politics and Technological Innovation

Why does one state innovate while another does not? How does technology determine the rise and fall of nations? This class will explore the global dimensions of technological innovation in a bid to better understand central themes to the study of International Relations (IR), including power, interdependence, and identity. We will trace the Realist, Liberalist, and Constructivist treatments of innovation - the discovery, introduction, and/or development of new technology or processes - with the vicissitudes of high politics in an anarchic world system. Technological capacity affects military facility and economic robustness, and so in broad theoretical terms, innovation is important to the study of IR because of its implications for both the relative and absolute power of states. Likewise, history tells us that nations which fail to maintain their place at the technological frontier soon fade from influence. From Thucydides' account of the Peloponnesian War to contemporary international relations, technology's role in shaping outcomes is critical to our understanding of geopolitical machinations in current and future chapters of The Great Game. Our class comes at a time when the rebalancing of both the inputs and outputs of innovation are shifting from West to East, as Asia rises and U.S. hegemony wanes. By combining readings on both theory and practice, this class will seek to better inform our understanding of what these changes in innovative activity mean in terms of International Relations in the 21st century and beyond.

Pol Sci 4896 (801) Advanced International Relations

A seminar course that focuses on international history and international relations theory. This will include the discussion of the two main theories Realism and Liberalism and topics such as war, nationalism, globalization, and international organizations.

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.

Japanese 3000 (801) / Asian Studies 3000 (801) Japanese Communication and Culture I

This course is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the intersection between language and culture in Japanese society. The course will provide students with opportunities to address questions regarding Japanese communication styles and/or language use which they might have encountered in Japanese speaking communities and to recognize how Japanese language used in real life situations is diverse. The course will cover a wide range of topics that address language use and variations in Japanese society, such as language and gender, honorifics, dialects, the use of English, and so on. Students will be encouraged to share their own observations and thoughts of Japanese language and its speakers in class.

Wom St 3000 (801) / Psych 3620 (801) / 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 (802) / Psych 3620 (802) / 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.