A critical exploration of popular culture in Japan from its isolation in the 1600s to its globalization today. Topics include advertising, anime, architecture, art, fashion, film, food, games, literature, magazines, manga, music, performance, sports, television, and travel. Students engage directly with these topics by analyzing cultural phenomena, from geisha to baseball, in light of historical and theoretical perspectives drawn from the disciplines of literary criticism, cultural studies, film studies, and anthropology—all in an effort to understand Japan through patterns of consumption, cultural memory, gender, media, national identity, race, and sexuality. The course demonstrates the complexity and appeal of what is arguably the major alternative to American popular culture. No prior background in Japanese is required; all readings are in English translation.
Max Enrollment: 30
Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature; ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video
Typical Periods Offered: Fall and Spring
Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring