Andrea G. Arai
Course content varies.
SISEA 490E, Spring, 2012, "Alternative Livelihoods and Lifestyles in Japan" (See below for SISEA 490C, Spring, 2012 "Media and Popular Culture in Japan") This seminar will focus on urban and rural movements to reclaim and create new spaces and lifestyles around notions of slow life, self-sufficiency, and environmentalism in Japan. Tracking changes in thinking about the local in Japan, we will explore the projects and concerns connected with it that range from urban agriculture, organic farming and foods, home cooking and hand-made things to alternative energy, and the rebuilding of the Tohoku region. Our focus on these alternative ways of living and imagining individual and national futures will include the new spaces of connection and structures of work and schooling that emerge along with them. Student work for the seminar will include individual and pair-research, interviewing and opportunities for service-learning.
"Media and Popular Culture in Japan" Manga, Anime, J-Fashion, Superflat, Otaku, MIXI, 2 Chanaru, Niko Niko Douga.? Replacing representations of Japan as #1 with Japan (the) Cool, these forms of popular culture and new media have given birth to new movements and industries of worldwide connection. Consumed and adored, the realm of the popular cultural and the new technologies that enable the speed of their movement within and across national borders have arguably inaugurated a new era of international influence. Focusing on the narrative forms, histories, aesthetics and technologies of the Japanese media and realm of the popular cultural, this course will explore these connections and identifications, ethnographically and theoretically. Some of the key questions we will ask are: how are these national and transnational forms altering our contemporary and historical view of Japan (and East Asia more generally); how are gender and historical representations linked to changing notions of modernity and globalization; how is usage and consumption affecting modes of communication and relations to social and national reproduction?
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The class with be part lecture and part discussion. Lectures will cover background and clarify terms and discussion will be mostly directed on the basis of discussion questions.
Class assignments and grading