Last update: April 9, 2024

ARTH 2096 (811) 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’s on this area of study. Although, not required, it is recommended to take “Japanese Culture” course before taking this course.



This course considers the history of postwar Japanese cinema through its representations of the family. One of the major recurring subjects of Japanese film history, 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, Nagisa Oshima, Toshio Matsumoto, Juzo Itami, Yoshimitsu Morita, and Hayao Miyazaki.


ARTH 2800 (811) 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 Foujita, Isamu Noguchi, 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.


ARTH 2800 (812) Topics in Non-West Art: Japanese Graphic Design History

This course covers the history of Japanese Graphic Design between 1900-2010s. It will arm students with the skills to critique visual work in the Japanese cultural and commercial context.



Creative and artistic coding for beginners. Get to grips with Javascript and Java through the MIT authored artists coding languages P5JS and Processing, to create your own generative artworks and understand the fundamentals behind some of the technologies seen at TeamLab as well as interactive design implementations for the web. This course assumes no prior coding knowledge.


ASST 2000 (750) Japanese Popular Culture: Debates and Controversies

Over the past few decades, Japanese popular culture has attracted unprecedented notice around the world. Manga and anime, of course, but attention is also being paid to Japanese snacks, idols, television dramas, novels, and films—inspiring their fans to learn the Japanese language. In this course we will peer behind the scenes of popular culture while looking at contested creative and political issues that shape it. For example, is the term “otaku” pejorative? How has Japanese music been a battleground for linguistic discussions? Might Pikachu be able to bring regional peace in Asia? Should idols get to date? Does it make sense for the government to invest in kimono exports if the attire is protested abroad as cultural appropriation? Was The Tale of Genji really Japan’s first novel? Do Japanese color words make the country’s roads dangerous? Can comedians joke about the country’s politics on TV? Are “weird Japan” media portrayals an offshoot of the “Cool Japan” phenomenon? Does anime decrease the country’s birthrate? Should game designers adhere to social values of the West? How do words like “ai” or “love” that enter Japan’s lexicon from foreign translation continue to shape domestic culture?


ASST 2000 (770)/ANTH 2310 (770) Tokyo Urban Ethnography Lab: Shibuya

We are in one of the largest, most diverse and most exciting field sites in the world: Tokyo. We will exploit this fact to explore urban space and place, society and sociality, people and practices through direct ethnographic fieldwork. Based on our readings, you will develop a reseach theme that your group will pursue over the course of the term. You will collect and synthesize data, and put it together for your final project. Class Practice: This course will require that you go into Shibuya to observe, interact and especially to collect field notes each week--sometimes alone, sometimes with your group. We will alternate between presenting/discussing the course readings and presenting your field notes from your site that will illustrate, contradict, expand or dislocate our readings. As the course goes on and your involvement with your field site becomes more complicated, we will do less reading and more writing, mapping, photography and video on your themes that will allow you to complete your final project--a website that captures your research.


ASST 2000 (771)/SOC 2130 (770) Risk Cultures: Pandemic Politics, Natural Disasters and Nuclear Energy

As a global viral pandemic is transforming the world, the ways in which cultures institutionalize what constitutes acceptable parameters of risk has become increasingly evident. The COVID-19 pandemic is a transformative crisis, but it is only one instance of a larger process of how we calibrate perceived threat and attempt to impose a sense of normalcy in an increasingly precarious world. In Japan this was especially evident in the Tohoku disasters of 2011, when the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan, a tsunami that took almost 20,000 lives and 3 nuclear reactors in meltdown in the Fukushima nuclear crisis grew to become the most expensive conjoined disasters in world history. This course examines major disasters such as the Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima nuclear accidents, global climate change and its associated effects (the Katrina Hurricane in New Orleans, flooding, wildfires, impact on vulnerable populations) and episodic but impactful disasters such as the Challenger Space Shuttle Explosion and the British Petroleum Deep Water Horizon oil spill as case studies to illustrate how risk is socially constructed and politically contended, and makes its way through public policy into institutional structures to profoundly affect our lives.


ASST 3000 (811)/POLS 3520 (811) KOREAN POLITICS

This course is about the government and politics in South Korea. We will first take a look at the historical processes from the liberation and division of the Korean peninsula to the democratization and economic development of the South Korea and nuclear and economic challenges of North Korea. We will then survey the political institutions and groups that shape politics and policy making in South Korea. We will analyze how mechanisms of delegation, representation, and accountability work, and what authorities and constraints decision makers possess and face. We will also analyze the politics and political economy of policy reforms by focusing on several areas of policy making. Lastly, we will look at the current state and prospects of Japan-Korea relations with a special attention to the ways in which history and present-day political institutions shape the incentives and thus, behaviors of the major decision makers in each of the respective countries. 


ASST 3030 (811) / POLS 4310 (811) CHINESE FOREIGN POLICY

What does the rise of China mean for international society? What are the major challenges for China's relations with major powers in the world? What factors drive or constrain Chinese foreign policy? These questions are of significant importance for our understanding of international relations. This course explores modern Chinese foreign policy in a historical and sociological perspective. It aims to help students understand the domestic and international contexts of Chinese foreign relations by examining a variety of aspects, such as the history of modern Chinese foreign policy (from mid-19th century to the present), the institutions and process of Chinese foreign policy making, political culture and Chinese foreign relations, China and major powers (the US, Japan, EU, and Russia), and China's role in global governance. As a 4000-level research seminar, beside building up the knowledge about Chinese foreign policy, students are expected to participate in class discussion and develop their research interests on specific topics in this field.


ASST 3030 (812) Japanese Social Problems

This course will draw on a "social constructionist" framework and examine how certain social problems have been discovered, defined, and dealt with in postwar Japan. We will begin the course by providing an overview of sociological approaches, in particular, a social constructionist approach to social problems, and critically examining Nihonjin-ron (theories of Japanese-ness) to provide frameworks for approaching Japanese social problems. We will then discuss specific Japanese social problems around the family, education, youth, gender, work, ethnic/racial minorities, disabilities, and aging.


ASST 4096 (770) Self, Culture, and Illness in Japan

This reading & project-based course will explore the cross-cultural perspectives on the conceptions of the self in relation to the body, illness, and culture with particular focus on Japanese conceptions of the person. The issues we will investigate will include anthropological perspectives on the self with a focus on Japan, the relationships between bodily conceptions and identities, the problems of body/mind dualism, illness and culture, conceptions of mental health and therapy, and conceptions of a “good death”. We will discuss how these issues all relate to personhood, or the idea of the person. You will conduct independent research on a topic of your choice related to self, culture, and illness in Japan (with consultation with the instructor). You will deepen your skills in choosing bibliographic tools, in finding and evaluating authoritative sources, and organizing and properly formatting a research paper.



What does “American” mean? Who counts as "White" or "Asian" on the United States census? Which states belong to the “South”? What does the term “Neoliberal” mean today? Keywords in American Studies introduces students to historical and contemporary terms that mark sites of unresolved conflict and contestation in the United States. None of these terms are unfamiliar sounding as they appear in every dictionary. The purpose of this course is to emphasize how these meanings have been made and altered over time. In lecture and through reading and film viewing, students will learn about these terms, their histories, their contexts, and associated prominent scholars and figures. Students will make meaning about this information through in-class discussion and collaborative writing. Students will be assessed through quizzes, presentations, and creative scholarly projects such as archive building. This course encourages students to be self-reflexive, open-minded, and future-oriented in their inquiry and analysis of these terms.



Students will gain knowledge about SDGs #1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13 and will understand how all 17 SDGs are deeply intertwined. Learners will work together to come up with possible solutions and establish active ways of implementing their ideas in a concrete manner, thus contributing positively to a more sustainable way of living. The course is conducted in workshop style: this means students are expected to be active during class: they will need to prepare carefully for each session, they will work in pairs/groups and will be required to share their findings in class. They will be asked to conduct further research and fact checking to gain more in-depth knowledge on the given topic.



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.



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.



This course immerses students in the cityscape of Tokyo, combining classroom study of key texts with field explorations. Students begin their study in the classroom, learning techniques and approaches to imagining a sense of place through writing and reading. In the second week of class, students apply what they’ve learned to guided “Walks” to three of Tokyo’s cultural treasures: Asakusa, the East Imperial Garden, and Ueno Park. For their term essay and project, students offer their own sense of Tokyo as experienced through our “Walks,” both in the imagined and experiential sense.



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.



This introductory translation course is designed for advanced learners of Japanese whose language proficiency level falls somewhere between JLPT Level 2 and Level 1 or equivalent. In this course, students will be provided with translation exercises whose themes are categorized to be non-academic materials. “Non-academic” in this course ranges from magazine articles, comics, advertisements, and instructional manuals to movie/animation subtitles. These non-academic genres are omnipresent in our daily life in Japan, which require our in-depth understanding of complex nuances of the Japanese language. The ultimate goal of this course, therefore, is to deepen as well as to broaden students’ understanding of Japanese language structures and shades of meanings by translating and exploring different genres.



This course is designed for individuals who are preparing to conduct successful job interviews in Japanese. It aims to provide students with the comprehensive skills needed to excel in the Japanese job market, focusing on mastering the Japanese language, understanding cultural nuances, and adhering to professional etiquette specific to Japan. Utilizing the Hofstede model, students will explore cultural differences, analyze personal and cultural characteristics, and learn the art of resume writing tailored to Japanese standards.


JPNS 3010 (811) KANJI III

Kanji or Chinese characters are an integral part of Japanese orthography system, which is considered as a key factor to learners’ reading comprehension and vocabulary building.  However, Kanji is considered to be difficult and rather time-consuming to acquire especially for learners from alphabetic orthography systems such as English speakers. This course is a continuation of Kanji II and designed to promote students’ understanding and mastery of additional 500 Kanji or more at the intermediate level.  By mastering additional 500 Kanji, students will acquire the Kanji proficiency equivalent to JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N3 or N2, and also improve their reading and writing skills in addition to vocabulary building. In this course, students are expected to apply their understanding of Kanji principles and knowledge to learn intermediate Kanji. They will start learning Kanji representing abstract ideas and Kanji with complex radicals. Also, they will learn two- or three-Kanji combination words rather than individual Kanji as well as synonymous or antonymous expressions. Their progress and mastery will be monitored and tested by regular quizzes throughout the course. As part of learning process, students will be encouraged to try The Kanji Proficiency Test (Kanken) Level 7 to 6 depending on the degree of each student’s mastery of Kanji.



The summer school introduces students to the foundations and practice of diplomacy, with a particular focus on the Indo-Pacific region. Students will learn about diplomatic issues, frameworks and methods. The course will enable students to gain a greater understanding of diplomatic issues in the Indo-Pacific and develop skills in applied diplomacy. At the end of this summer school, students will be able to formulate an analysis of the major diplomatic and geopolitical issues in East Asia, identify the particularities of the different practices in this sphere of activity, draft diplomatic documents and identify the strategies to be favored in an international negotiation.



To learn about the similarities and differences of mental health across different counties is essential for developing a better understanding of mental health. In this course, a wide range of topics related to mental health will be covered with a focus on what is happening in Japan. This includes the history of mental care in Japan, the Japanese mentality, striking issues, unique treatment, and career in Japan as a clinical psychologist/non- psychologist. Main activity of this course will be peer discussion and a final group presentation. Peer discussion will require you to share your opinions with classmates and take part in active discussions after each lecture. These discussions will help develop your thoughts and attitude toward each topic. In the final group presentation, you will present a topic with your group about a topic of your choice related to Japanese mental health.



In this course we are going to explore gender-related issues from the psychological perspective in the global context with special emphasis on gender issues in the Japanese context. This course will focus on the situation of women and men, as well as LGBTIQ+ community in different societies and Japan, highlighting the modern situation and future predictions in relation to family dynamics, gender equality, reproductive health/rights issues, maternal mortality, violence and sex abuse against women, male identity crisis, alternative expressions of gender including genderless identity, sexuality, sex work and human trafficking, all of which have tremendous and very significant impact on the status of women and men in different contexts of modern life and society. The important factor in this course is the analysis of psychological phenomena related to gender issues, which offers an added value for students and broadens the course content, and as a result the psychological models and theories offer students a comprehensive integration of gender studies in psychology, including anthropological, sociological and feminist discourse.



In this seminar, lectures, discussions, and assignments focus on the nature, assessment, and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in cross-cultural context. Through current scientific literature, students will learn not only the primary symptoms of ADHD, but also associated problems, comorbid disorders, and differential manifestations of symptoms at different developmental ages and across cultures. Furthermore, we will investigate different types of assessment methods and evidence-based treatments of ADHD.