Fall 2017 Topical Courses

Last update: June 14, 2017

Art Hist 2896 (801)/As St 2096 (801) Modern Japanese Visual Culture: Early Edo period through the Second World War

This is a writing-intensive Art History course examining Western influence on modern Japanese visual expression spanning the early Eighteenth century in the Edo period through the end of the Second World War. This period is marked by two watershed events linked to Western interventions: the collapse of centuries-old samurai feudalism and Japan's defeat in the Second World War. The course begins by introducing Japan's early encounters with the West and the following effort to modernize itself. Western influence touched every aspect of Japanese life including the visual arts. The course will explore the evolution and transformation of Japanese visual arts in which Western knowledge and culture played a crucial role, and often challenged Japan's long-standing traditional values and artistic practices. The course will chronologically highlight ways in which Japanese artists had to question and gauge their own artistic practices and styles to cope with the aesthetic pendulum swinging back and forth between the foreign and domestic in the rapidly changing political, societal and cultural climate.

Art Hist 2898 (801)/As St 2096 (802) Contemporary Japanese Art and Visual Culture, from 1945 to the 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 3900 (801) Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies Honors Seminar

The Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies is TUJ's premier research institute, with research fellows (adjunct, graduate and undergraduate), a public lecture series and special symposium, catering to the international community in Japan. The ICAS lecture series fosters the international mission of Temple University, bringing in scholars, journalists, politicians and diplomats, and noted public intellectuals who address issues such as US/Japan relations, the geo-politics of Asia, Japanese culture, international education and globalization. This course is organized into thematic modules of Japanese culture and history, electoral politics and international relations, stratification, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and Japanese popular culture. TUJ fellows and associates will lecture in-class on thematically-linked topics, and students will also be required to attend the ICAS public lectures throughout the semester. In addition, special fieldtrips and outings are organized, which are tied in to substantive course curriculum content.

As St 4096 (802) Contemporary Political & Security Relations in N.E. Asia - Japan, China, & the Korean Peninsula

With three of the world's leading economies, N.E. Asia plays a significant role in an increasingly globalised environment. In political terms, however, relations among Japan, China, and the two contending states on the Korean Peninsula are often tense and fraught with difficulties. In security terms as well, regional territorial disputes and the real danger of military conflict on the Korean Peninsula - with sabre-rattling over how to deal with a nuclear-armed North Korea - call for timely study and attention. This course utilises International Relations' and Security Studies' approaches to explore current tensions, relations, and prospects for war or peace in the whole of N.E. Asia.

FMA 3696 (801) Japanese Independent Cinema

This course will explore Japanese independent cinema (films made outside the major-studio system) from the late 1980s to the present. We will screen and discuss key works by filmmakers such as Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Aoyama Shinji, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Iwai Shunji, Kawase Naomi, Ichikawa Jun, Tsukamoto Shinya, Miike Takashi, and Sono Sion. We will consider these films both in their formal and aesthetic aspects and as reflections of contemporary Japanese society. We will discuss funding, distribution, and exhibition opportunities for independent films, the roles played by film schools and film festivals in the world of independent cinema, and the political and cultural meanings of "independence" in the context of Japanese film.

FMA 3696 (802) East Asian Melodrama

In studies of cinema, drama, and literature, melodrama is usually defined as a genre (or mode of expression) that emphasizes the release of powerful emotion. This course will explore how films from Japan, South Korea, and Chinese-speaking countries expand and challenge definitions of melodrama. We will survey the main traditions of melodrama in East Asian cinema since the 1920s and also examine revisionist, subversive, and counter-traditional uses of melodrama, focusing on the representation of family relationships, gender, sexuality, and the social effects of accelerated modernization. We will also consider melodramatic aesthetics and ways of accommodating and deepening emotional response through critical writing.

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 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 2000 (801) Practical Japanese for Study Abroad Students

This course is designed to give Temple Study Abroad Program students the essential conversational and written Japanese necessary to negotiate their time in Japan. Lectures, assignments, field trips, and other activities will be designed with practical, day-to-day life in Japan in mind. This course is not part of the Japanese Language and Literature major, and students pursuing this major or more rigorous study of the language should register for the formal course sequence, beginning with 1001.

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 3000 (801) Japanese Communication and Culture I

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.

Lib Arts 2020 (801 & 802) 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.

Lib Arts 2030 (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.

MSP 3890 (801) Scoring Music for Media

In films, documentaries, instructional videos, commercials and more, music is a vital part of creating or enhancing specific moods desired by the films creators. Music composition for this industry is in itself a full time career. However, the film creator that understands first-hand what is entailed in composing or choosing music for film will have an advantage over many in being able to clearly decide and describe where and what kind of music would best serve to enhance the success of the film creation. This course will teach some of the vital basics on how to either select pre-recorded music or create original music suitable. Also the differences between diegetic and non-diegetic music, tempos, tones, different moods and dynamics within certain styles of compositions and instrumentation will be explained for the 'non-musician' and musician alike in order to make innovative choices that fit the film maker's vision. We will be exploring simple sound engineering using today's software programs for recording original music using instrumental interface or direct input, manipulation of music with affects and the editing in order to interlink and sync the music to film. We will conclude the class with a music/film project.

Music 3300 (801) TUJ Chorus

Performance of standard choral literature. At least one public performance per semester.

Note: This ensemble is available to any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in the University.

Pol Sci 3510 (801) / As St 3030 (801) 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.

Pol Sci 3530 (801) African Politics

This course will teach you what contemporary African politics and society are like and how they came to be so. To do this we will look in-depth at a few country case studies and delve into thematic areas such as colonialism, independence, state formation, ethnic diversity and identity, development, civil war and violence. We will think about why Africa remains poor, and whether the West should or even can do anything about it. You will be introduced to major debates on aid and development and encouraged to approach them sceptically, developing your critical thinking skills. You will also receive instruction in how to conduct political research and be given the opportunity to apply these methods to an independent research project.

Pol Sci 4320 (801) 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.

Pol Sci 4896 (801) Foreign Policy Analysis

Whether ordering military strikes, funding opposition groups, or seeking to sign new trade deals, foreign policy decisions are some of the most momentous choices facing national leaders. However, what are the processes that cause decision makers to select one course of action over another? This is the key subject matter of Foreign Policy Analysis. This course introduces students to this sub-discipline of International Relations. It teaches them the field's history, as well as its main theories and distinctive "levels of analysis" approach. Having learned these basics in the abstract, students are then required to apply the methods of Foreign Policy Analysis to specific case studies to determine which causal factors were most important in the making of each decision. The case studies selected cover a range of time periods and geographical regions, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the atomic bombings of Japan, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, North Korean nuclear brinkmanship, and Russia' s annexation of Crimea.

Psych 3620 (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.

Psych 3620 (802) 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.

Psych 4696 (801) Cross-Cultural Themes in Psychology

The main focus of this capstone is a timely topic important to many fields in psychology, addressing a need for academic analysis of rapidly changing social and cultural interactions in the global context. The course will allow students to see and analyze the linkages between concepts, theories, research findings and professional applications from the cross-cultural perspective with special emphasis put on the contemporary psychological phenomena in Japan. This course also offers a comprehensive analysis of various clinical, social and cultural perspectives, related to globalization, international mobility, human relationships in public and private spheres, online psychology/virtual reality, cross-cultural psychopathology, etc. This capstone is particularly useful for students planning graduate work in psychology or considering studying/working overseas, and those who would like to develop the deeper understanding of multi-layered mechanisms, which underlie the cross-cultural phenomena in psychology. This is a writing-intensive course and students are required to explore relevant literature, critically analyze academic sources and findings, raise questions, and prepare an academic paper on their particular topic of interest. NOTE: This course is limited to psychology majors in their senior year.