Spring 2014 Topical Courses

Last update: September 6, 2013

As St 2030 (801) Special Topics I: Disaster Japan: Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of 3.11

The great East Japan Tohoku Earthquake of March 11, 2011 was among the greatest disasters in history and the direst social crisis in Japan in the post-war era. This course examines the events of 3.11, from the immediate aftermath of the Tsunami, Earthquake and nuclear crisis and the application of crisis management philosophies and procedures, to its influence on Japanese Civil Society, electoral politics and the reinvigoration of the anti-nuclear movement, and volunteerism in participatory politics.

As St 3000 (803) Special Topics in Asian Studies II: 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.

As St 4096 (801) Writing Seminar in Asian Studies: Self, Culture, and Illness in Japan

Who are we? How is our understanding of our ‘self’ related to our physical and/ or psychological well-being? And to what extent do our cultural backgrounds affect our conceptions of well-being? This capstone writing course (for Asian Studies major) will aim at answering these questions through critically exploring the cross-cultural conceptions of self, health, and illness with particular focus on Japanese society. The topics to be covered in this course will include anthropological perspectives on conceptions of the self/ personhood, health/ illness/ disease, body/ mind, mental health & therapy, as well as critical perspectives on medical and healing systems. Students registered for this course will read works on these topics and will be encouraged to reflect on their own everyday practices so that they can engage deeply with the topics in the Japanese context and critically assess previous writings. They will also conduct independent research on a topic of their choice for the final research paper (upon consultation with the instructor) and will make a presentation on the topic. In the writing process, students will deepen their skills in choosing bibliographic tools, in finding and evaluating authoritative sources, and organizing and properly formatting a research paper.

Japanese 3010 (801) Special Topics in Japanese II: Japanese Communication and Culture II

This course is designed to enhance students' understanding of language use in cross-cultural situations. By comparing language use by Japanese people and people from other cultures in real life situations, the course will explore how communication styles and interactional patterns are culture-dependent, which, hence, may cause misunderstandings in cross-cultural communications. The course will particularly focus on communication styles, speech acts, such as request and refusals, and politeness. It will also touch upon language use by Japanese language learners, their identity construction in Japanese, and native speakers' perceptions toward language learners.

Japanese 4396 (801) Seminar in Japanese and Japan: Topic III: Literature

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) Special Topics in Liberal Arts II: 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.

MSP 3890 (801) Intermediate Topics in Media and Telecommunication Production: TUJ Film Festival

Work on the TUJ Film Festival.

ORGS 3000 (801) Topics in Organizational Studies: Technology in International Business

Explore the role of information technology as a business enabler and take a look at management information systems' impact on business models and society. Evaluate the organizational fit and suitability of various technologies and interpret the interaction between information technology, customers, processes, data, human resources, and the overall internal and external environment of international businesses. Understand the ethical challenges of information technology and explain the evolving role of management information systems in the organization, and the role and careers of MIS professionals.

Pol Sci 3530 (801) Special Topics: Research Preparation Seminar: Comparative Politics of Southeast Asia

Modern Southeast Asia displays intriguing diversity in terms of political and economic development. While some countries have achieved high levels of economic growth, others still lag behind. Also, while some countries experienced transition to democracy, others still maintain authoritarian regimes. How do we explain such divergent trajectories? This course addresses these questions through the lens of comparative politics. The objective of this course is to encourage students not only to gain an empirical and analytical understanding of the political dynamics in Southeast Asia but also to think comparatively within the region and across the developing world more broadly. Thus, while the course focuses mainly on Southeast Asia in terms of empirical cases, its ultimate aim is to enhance students' capacity for rigorous comparative political analysis in general. This course covers all the major countries in the region and addresses such themes as state formation, economic development, and transitions to democracy.

Pol Sci 4320 (801) Seminar in International Politics: The International Politics of Energy

Modern society's insatiable demand for energy continues to exert profound effects on international politics. Introducing an epic story that features resource wars, oil curses, and vast flows of petrodollars, this course describes the economic, security, and environmental implications of the unequal global distribution of energy resources (especially oil and gas) and analyzes the impact this has on political relations between consumer, supplier, and transit states. Using case studies for illustration, attention is drawn to the US's long-standing and controversial ties to oil-rich monarchies in the Middle East. Focus also centers on the significant role played by Russia in international energy markets, as well as on the impact of the post-Fukushima energy crisis on Japan's contemporary policies. Looking forward as well as back, this module also asks about the future of international energy, emphasizing the development of renewables, the shale gas revolution, and collapse in support for nuclear.

Pol Sci 4896 (801) Capstone Seminar in Political Science: Contentious Politics and Social Movements

This seminar examines how ordinary citizens attempt to influence political decision-making in national and global politics. Citizens may organize street demonstrations, join political strikes, occupy buildings, and start hunger strikes. They also can use more contentious and violent forms of protest and resistance such as insurgencies and armed rebellions. In this seminar, students will study different modes of protest, passive or active, collective or individual, through a discussion of theories of contentious politics and social movements. Students will be exposed to various case studies ranging from revolutions in the 20th century to the Arab Spring in the 21st century. By the end of the semester, students will write a research paper on a specific case of contentious politics or social movements.

Psych 4696 (801) Capstone in Psychology: The Power of Belief

Beliefs play an essential role in human thoughts, feelings and behaviors and are conceptualized in aspects of human psychology as diverse as emotions, perceptions, attitudes, motivation, superstition, memory accuracy, and conflict resolution, among others. In this capstone course we will explore the omnipresence of belief throughout psychology by examining what beliefs are and how they have been studied throughout the fields of psychology in the past. Class discussions centering around guided writing assignments will facilitate development of your question and subsequent research. To hone your researching skills and broaden your knowledge of psychology, you will independently begin investigating a research question by conducting a literature review. From multiple conceptual, theoretical, and research perspectives, you will synthesize the evidence in an attempt to answer your question while contemplating practical implications of your answer for humans or societies of the world today. Your major assignments for the term will be a 10- to 12-page term paper, written in multiple drafts in APA style, and an oral presentation in which you share your conclusions with your peers.

Art Hist 2800 (801) / As St 3000 (801) Topics in Non-Western Art: Art and the City: Tokyo in the 1960s and 1970s

This course looks at Tokyo in the 1960s and 1970s as a site of political negotiation, creative explosion, and new subject formations. The staging of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 officially signaled the end of the post-war period for Japan. While so-called miraculous economic growth was accompanied by conservative ideals such as that of the homogenous middle class and cotemporaneous urban developments reorganized the urban environment to promote market activity at the exclusion of others, the 1960s and 1970s were also extremely productive decades for Tokyo, which became a stage for artistic, political, and sexual experimentation. Alongside increased political activism and direct action taken by students and workers, new developments in street performances, experimental theater works, graphic design, experimental cinema, and underground comics would irrevocably change the course of Japanese visual culture. Paying attention to the thick connections between artists working in various media and the socio-political contexts of the period, we will explore how the city both shaped the artists and their works and served as their subject. Some of the artists we will consider are the Fluxus-associated art collective Hi Red Center, artist Yoko Ono, graphic designer Yokoo Tadanori, and dramatist/filmmaker/poet Shuji Terayama.

Art Hist 2097 (801) / As St 2096 (801) Topics in Art History: 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) Special Topics in Asian Studies II: Japanese Cinema: The 1960s

In this course, we will study Japanese cinema of the 1960s, as well as discuss some relevant works of film theory and analysis. This course is the second in a series, continuing from our survey of Classical Japanese cinema last semester. Through screenings and discussion of exemplary works by eleven different directors working during the 1960s, we will explore how postwar Japanese film has represented society, class, gender, the family, love, the nation, 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: mass culture, melodrama, space, sexuality, genre, ideology, national cinema, and classical vs. modernist cinema.

Wom St 3000 (801) / Psych 3620 (801) / As St 3000 (802) Special Topics in Asian Studies II: Body Image Disturbances Among Females in Contemporary Societies

In contemporary societies such as the US and Japan, increasing numbers of young females are suffering from negative body image. In this topics seminar, we will learn about body image and body dissatisfaction, how it develops and what it leads to, and unique cultural aspects of body image in various countries. In addition, we will examine the role of males, family, peers, and the media in development and maintenance of body dissatisfaction. Moreover, potential prevention and intervention techniques will be discussed.