Fall 2020 Topical Courses

Last update: July 10, 2020

ARTH 2096 (801) Eurasia: Connecting European and Asian Art and Culture

Even though we are living in a globalizing world, our common knowledge of cultures other than our own is limited. Since every culture has its own uniqueness, it can often cause misunderstandings during interpretation. Located on the eastern side of Eurasia, Japan can be seen as a reflection of Europe itself in many ways. By comparing the cultures and historical incidents of these parts of Eurasia, they echo resounding similarities. This class connects European and Asian cultures into the singular continental culture of Eurasia - through cross cultural comparisons of significant moments in history and places of significance. Upon completion of this course, you will be able to compare the social and historical contexts of Europe and Japan, while being able to create your own critical analysis on this area of study. Although, not required, it is recommended to take "Japanese Culture" course before taking this course.

ARTH 2300 (801) Community Arts and Cultural Development Practice (Joint Class with Showa Women's University)

This course will explore the relationships between collective art-making and community engagement. The class will be introduced to the history and ethics of community art and cultural development practices. We will visit local places to research the arts and communities specific to Setagaya. Then, we will propose and conduct community art projects. By collaborating with Showa Women's University and sharing resources with locals, we hope to positively influence dynamics between the schools and our neighbors.

ARTH 2660 (801) The Family in Japanese Film from Melodrama to Anime

This course considers the history of postwar Japanese cinema through its representations of the family. One of the key and recurring subjects of Japanese film, the family will be examined through critical texts addressing changing attitudes and sociopolitical contexts regarding such issues as modernization, nostalgia, postmodernism, gender, and sexuality. The course will consider films of various genres including classic melodrama, new wave, experimental narrative, documentary, and anime produced by a range of directors including Yasujiro Ozu, Toshio Matsumoto, Juzo Itami, Yoshimitsu Morita, and Hayao Miyazaki.

ARTH 2800 (801) Japanese Art Before and After WWII: National Identities in Modernization

This course introduces Japanese art from the early 20th century to present day, focusing on traditional aspects of Japanese cultures. Through this course you will study Japan's relationship with modernization and its influence on arts and cultures such as; painting, sculpture, manga, movie, animation, performance art, and more. The artists who will be discussed in these courses will be; Hayao Miyazaki, Osamu Tezuka, Leonard Tsuguharu Fujita, Yasujiro Ozu, Yoko Ono, Yukio Mishima, and Yasumasa Morimura. Special attention will be paid to the historical context of Japan's modernization, World War II, and their influences on Japanese contemporary art. The aim of this course is to help you develop literacy on Japanese modern/contemporary art and culture. Upon completion of this course, you will be able to understand the social and historical context of Japanese art and culture, enabling you to create your own critical analysis on this particular field of study. Previous knowledge of Japan’s history or art is not required for this course.

ARTH 2800 (802) Japanese Graphic Design History

Japanese Graphic Design History explores the rise and development of commercial art and advertising art into graphic design in the Japanese context from the Meiji Restoration to the contemporary moment. This course examines the aesthetic, market-based and sociopolitical milestones that have influenced design while simultaneously exploring the pantheon of both renowned and underexplored Japanese graphic designers. Students will read relevant slices of design theory—the history, criticism and literature—from Asia, Europe and the Americas in order to contextualize Japanese Graphic Design History and the localized developments of Modernism, Postmodernism and the current Neoliberal Era. This course approaches the analysis of graphic design from an all-encompassing perspective, examining the design of everyday commercially designed objects such as matchbooks to posters for cinema and theater to the design of Japanese typefaces to the design of corporate identities. Students will gain a nuanced understanding of why and how our designed world looks the way it does through history-rich talks, graphic design studio visits with famous graphic designers, and trips to graphic design exhibitions. This class is the lone course offered globally that explores the robust history of Japanese Graphic Design in total.

ARTU 2400 (801) Picture Books

Throughout the semester, you will learn about picture book structure and how to compose a picture book. You will create a hand-bound picture book of your own illustrations or other art, with or without words. You will learn how to lay out the artworks on book pages. The medium is up to you (e.g. watercolor, acrylic, pastels, pen, woodblock print) and so is the type of book (e.g. children's book, poetry, journal). Under the instructor's supervision you will make mock-ups and explore the best binding method for the book. The history of book publishing in Japan and around the world will be covered in class.

ARTU 2400 (802) Post-Studio Practice

This topical course investigates post-studio practice with an emphasis on time-based, spatial, social and conceptual practices. Traditional notions of the studio became antiquated with the emergence of conceptual art in the 1960s. The role of the studio has been questioned and critiqued by the artists who experimented with other sites for the production and presentation of artworks. Newer forms of practice, including installation and performance, stepped out of the gallery and museum, and incorporate more the world outside, leading to the idea of “post-studio practice.” Today the idea and role of the studio are continually reinvented corresponding to new realities. Offering instruction in the composition of works ranging from time-based and text-based works to performance and installation, this course also looks at ways artists have developed their own practices outside of, or in opposition to, conventional understandings of artistic media. Each student will produce a proposal-based final project, and complete several short assignments. The basic course structure includes a critique of student work, hands-on workshops on the use of various digital tools, programs, and sculpture methods. The course will also provide studio time in and outside of class to further develop students’ vision, concerns, and execution of artworks. Basic knowledge of Adobe Creative Suites on a Macintosh platform and prior studio art experience are recommended.

ASST 2030 (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.

ASST 3030 (801)/POLS 3510 (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.

ASST 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.

CLA 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.

CLA 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.

JRN 3890 (801) Japan Inside & Out (Honors)

Japan has long struggled to maintain its traditions and indigenous culture as it has assimilated foreign elements, alternate modes of thought and different forms of organizational structure into its institutions. This dynamic tension between Japan and global influence has challenged Japan’s idealized image of itself, and resulted at times in an insular mindset among more conservative factions in its government that delivered it to war and riven conflict with its Asian neighbors, but it has also generated a post-modern culture that defies simple categorization and is compelling in its complexity. We will study and discuss the portrayal of Japan in journalism, allowing for reflection on globalization, identity politics and cultural difference.

POLS 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.

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.

PSY 3620 (801) Survey Design: From Theory to Practice

Surveys are often used in different kinds of research methodologies, either as research methods or as tools to collect data. Their popularity as data gathering tools highlights the importance of learning and applying the best possible practices to survey design. In this course, students will learn the best practices in survey design and will utilize this knowledge to either evaluate existing surveys or develop their own survey on a topic of their interest. Topics discussed will include the fundamentals of writing and ordering different types of survey questions, online surveys vs paper-based survey, and assessing the validity and reliability of surveys, among others.

PSY 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.

PSY 4696 (801) The Self

"Self" is an important aspect of our consciousness and although most of us realize this, we question what it is, where it's located, and what it does. In this course, students will explore how "self" is currently defined across fields of psychology and psychological perspectives, such as the psychodynamic, humanistic and neuroscience perspectives, to name a few. Students will also consider theory and research evidence on when and how "self" develops. Lastly, students will explore various problems associated with disrupted sense of "self" In this seminar course students will be responsible for discussing readings and at the end of the term give a presentation on their Capstone Paper, which will be an in-depth theoretical analysis or empirical research proposal on some aspect of self.