Summer 2015 Topical Courses

Last update: February 12, 2015

Art Hist 2610 (811) Critique of the Everyday in Contemporary Art

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 (811) 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.

Econ 3580 (811) Advanced Topics in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

This course extends the models developed earlier in the intermediate Micro and Macroeconomics courses. It also links these models to international trade, international finance and decision making theories. Game theory, behavioral economics, and risk evaluation will also be introduced.

FMA 2670 (811) Film Scoring

This course aims to give both a historical perspective and practical application of film scoring techniques. Students will gain a perspective and set of skills allowing them to compose musical scores for live-action film and animation. No prior musical training required.

Hist 3280 (811) The History of Rock & Roll

In a 1970 Velvet Underground song, Lou Reed sang about Jenny who felt she was living a meaningless existence until "her life was saved by rock and roll." For many musicians and fans, rock'n'roll did indeed save their lives. When and why did this powerful new music emerge? What impact did it have on American society? How and why did this music change over time? We will explore these and other questions during the semester. This course will use a social history framework, so will focus on social, economic, cultural, political, and technological factors, and on the evolution of rock'n'roll. Among issues covered are the creation, distribution, and consumption of the music-including the crucial roles of musicians, DJs, music companies, and fans as well as foes. Also considered are the development of rock aesthetics and criticism, the cultivation of musicians' images, issues of race/gender/class, and the globalization of the music. As we examine rock'n'roll as a social/historical phenomenon we will listen to & study recorded examples to learn about its musical aspects: What are the musical roots of rock'n'roll, and what musics contributed to its early development? What characteristics of musical style have defined rock'n'roll music over the past half-century, and how have these changed through the years? You will learn how to listen to, understand and discuss the musical elements of rock'n'roll.

Japanese 1003 (811) 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 (811) 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.

ORGS 3000 (811) 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 4320 (811) Eurasian Politics: The International Affairs of Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus

The Soviet Union may be long gone, but the countries that emerged from its collapse in 1991 remain highly significant in international affairs. This course traces the political and economic development of these independent states and highlights their continued difficulties in managing relations amongst themselves and with the world more generally. Inevitably, most attention in this regard goes to Russia. The largest country in the world, Russia dominates the Eurasian landmass and, via its veto in the UN Security Council and enormous nuclear arsenal, it retains a leading role in international politics. In discussing its global standing, this course places particular emphasis on Russia's status as an "energy superpower", its perception in the West as an unscrupulous spoiler, and its recent decision to reorient the country towards the Asia-Pacific. A further key topic is Russia's plan to create a Eurasian Union, a project condemned by the US as "a move to re-Sovietise the region". Away from Russia, this course has three further areas of focus. The first is Central Asia, where vast natural resources have encouraged the West and China to challenge Russia's hegemony. The second is the Caucasus where the 2008 Georgia-Russian war and the frozen conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan have left an explosive legacy. Lastly, there is Eurasia's western fringe where the people of dictatorial Belarus and politically unstable Ukraine struggle to determine whether their future lies with Europe or Russia.

As St 2096 (812)/FMA 3696 (811) Contemporary Japanese Film and Anime

In this course, we will study contemporary Japanese cinema and anime (1984 to the present), and discuss some relevant works of film/anime analysis. Through screenings and discussion of exemplary works, we will explore how contemporary Japanese film and anime have represented society, youth, technology, violence, the future, the nation, socio-political conflict, and love. Beyond situating these works in their historical and cultural contexts, this course will prepare you to productively engage with analytical concepts such as: criticism; form; narrative; genre; ideology; space; national cinema; mass vs. subculture; and media convergence.

Pol Sci 3510 (811)/As St 3030 (811) Japan's International Relations

The Senkakus, "comfort women", TPP, and the Ospreys, these are just some of the most pressing issues in Japan's international relations. This course aims to facilitate a deeper understanding of such problems by providing a broad overview of Japan's most important international relationships. Particular emphasis is placed on the country's dealings with the United States, China, the two Koreas, and Russia, though attention is also drawn to relations with other regions and international organisations. In so doing, the topics of the regional balance of power, historical memory, and global trade patterns are all brought to the fore. As the focus of international politics continues to shift towards the Asia-Pacific region, this subject of Japan's place in the world is becoming of ever greater significance.

Hist 3229 (811)/As St 3000 (811) Superpower America

This course traces the ebb and flow of the twentieth century effort to establish and institutionalize a new framework and set of norms for the international order based on U.S. leadership. Overlaying the narrative history of Presidential polices from Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton is a number of interrelated themes, including: the rise and fall of the United States as a creditor nation; the tension between America's idealistic impulses and the perceived need to behave "realistically" in a frequently hostile environment; the impact of domestic influences on foreign policy; the emergence of bipolarism and Soviet-American antagonism; the challenge to bipolarism posed by the Third World and regional disputes; atomic diplomacy and the balance of terror; "existential deterrence" and arms limitation; crisis management and avoidance; and, finally, the end of the Cold War, the implosion of the former Soviet Union, and the implications of the Russian empire's collapse for restructuring the global system, reordering America's international priorities, and producing a national strategy that succeeds "containment." The assigned readings reflect an array of interpretations and approaches to the study of the history of U.S. foreign policy. Although no "formal discussions" are scheduled, students will be provided the opportunity and encouraged discuss freely their responses to and questions about these interpretations during every class. In additions, at least once each student will be required to present a succinct oral summary of the fundamental issues raised in the previous session, and time will be allotted to examine and dissect the distributed documents.

Psych 3620 (811) Group Dynamics and the Role of Culture

How does culture influence group performance, processes, and dynamics? Research methodology, group formation, group structure, cohesion, social influence and power, conflict, individual and group performance, decision making, and inter-group relations are among the topics covered. Special attention will be placed on recent developments in Asian psychological research.