Spring 2015 Topical Courses

Last update: October 23, 2014

Art Hist 2097 (801) / As St 2096 (802) 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.

Art Hist 2800 (801) / As St 3000 (801) 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.

Wom St 3000 (801) Images of Women

A study of women as subjects of art, as patrons, as creators. The course is organized around the roles of women as represented over the course of western art.

As St 2096 (801) / FMA 3696 (801) 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 (802) / Psych 3620 (801) / As St 3000 (802) Clinical Sexology in the Japanese Context

This course introduces the topic of clinical sexology offering discussion about various sexuality phenomena, which shape the contemporary Japanese society. Modern Japan is facing dramatic changes regarding sexual expressions, gender roles and expectations, as well as sexual behaviors, which challenge the time-honored stereotypes about feminine and masculine sexuality in Japan. This course also offers a comprehensive analysis of Japanese sexuality from clinical, psychological, social and cultural perspective, and it introduces cross-cultural models of clinical interventions, applicable in the Japanese context. In addition, the clinical and counseling tools applicable in cross-cultural sexology will be discussed in order to offer the students an opportunity to enrich their psychological studies.

As St 2000 (801) Manga and Anime in Japanese Popular Culture

The rich and varied world of manga (comics) and anime (animation) has produced some of the most important cultural products to appear in Japan in the postwar period, and has established itself as a part of global popular culture. Students will learn to critically examine the themes and representations in works in relation to the historical and socio-cultural contexts of postwar Japan, in order to gain insights into how and why it has gained global significance as a subculture. Through the lens of popular culture and its most devoted fans, the course will examine various issues in Japanese society, running the gamut from race, class and gender to nature, technology and the human. Topics include the art historical origins; the variety of genres and their relation to social and technological development; the birth and evolution of the otaku subculture; the relation of manga and anime to games, TV, cinema and toys in contemporary Japan. Students will view manga and anime both inside and outside of class. The course adopts a hands-on approach, offering guided excursions into areas including Akihabara, Nakano and Ikebukuro. Artists, critics and industry insiders will also visit the class to share their insights. Students will conduct independent research on some aspect of manga and anime in Japanese popular culture, present their finding to the class and submit a final paper.

As St 2030 (801) / Soc 2130 (801) 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 4096 (801) 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.

FMA 4240 (801) Audio for Film and Video Production

An introduction to audio recording and editing for film and video production. Students will learn about the techniques and gear used for recording audio both in the field and studio settings, as well as editing systems to create soundtracks for film&video projects.

Japanese 1003 (801) Oral Intensive I

A bridge between beginning and intermediate Japanese levels, this course emphasizes vocabulary building and the use of spoken Japanese through situational conversational practice. Tests will be in the forms of listening and reading comprehension and structured interviews. An ability to read and write hiragana and katakana is required, as is a mastery of most basic grammatical rules.

Japanese 2003 (801) Oral Intensive II

A bridge between intermediate and advanced Japanese levels, this course focuses on vocabulary acquisition in a variety of conversational situations. Throughout the semester, several vocabulary quizzes and structure tests will be given, while the final exam will be in the form of interviews. Students are required to complete one project involving various communication activities outside the classroom. Note, the course uses different materials and works on different topics every semester and thus is repeatable. Students need prior written permission from the instructor to repeat.

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.

MSP 3890 (801) TUJ Film Festival

Work on the TUJ Film Festival.

ORGS 3000 (801) 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) International Development

This course provides and introduction to the political economy of development. What is development and why are some countries and regions of the world more successful in their efforts to promote it than others? Why do many governments enact policies that negatively impact growth and development? To answer these questions and address other major issues in development this course will examine both differences across countries in terms of development as well as how development influences relations between states. Several broad themes will be discussed. First, what are the causes and consequences of poverty? Second, what role do domestic governments play in development? Third, how does development affect relations between countries? And lastly, what role do international actors have in development. In addition to this broad framework, the course will also explore specific development topics including urban-rural issues, health and education, gender, globalization and trade.

Pol Sci 4320 (801) 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) 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) The Power of Belief

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. Reading-centered discussions will facilitate development of your question and subsequent research. You will independently conduct a literature review and propose an empirical research study to attempt to answer your research question while contemplating practical implications of your answer for humans or societies of the world today.