East Asian Studies

  • Manga: Visual Culture in Modern Japan

    This course examines the comic book as an expressive medium in Japan. Reading a range of works, classic and contemporary, in a variety of genres, we consider: How has the particular history of Japan shaped cartooning as an art form there? What critical approaches can help us think productively about comics (and other popular culture)? How can we translate the effects of a visual medium into written scholarly language? What do changes in media technology, literacy, and distribution mean for comics today? Coursework will combine readings, written analysis, and technical exercises.
  • Chinese Cinemas

    This course is an introduction to contemporary Chinese cinemas in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. From postwar musicals and pan-Asian blockbusters, to new wave avant-garde films and experimental documentaries, the diversity of Chinese cinemas reflects cinema's relations to global capitalism, Asia's democratization movements, financial crises, and the arrival of (post)socialism. Creating urban nomads, songstresses, daydreamers, travelers, and terrorists, Chinese cinemas put on full display the forces of globalization in shaping the aesthetics and politics of film.
  • Dangerous Bodies: Cross-Dressing, Asia, Transgression

    This course examines "dangerous bodies" - bodies that transgress existing gender and racial norms in Chinese and Sinophone cultures. Situated at the intersection of literary, film, performance, gender and ethnic studies, this course provides an introduction to the shifting social meanings of the body in relation to historical masculinity, femininity, and Chineseness.
  • Korean Travel Narratives, 1100s-1930s

    Knowledge about the world has assumed a variety of forms over history. This course, centered on travel writings by Koreans and about Korea, pursues two interrelated goals. First of all, we will look into the epistemic coordinates that structure travelogue as a genre of perception. Secondly, we will learn about the changing political and cultural contexts around Korea, which defined the modes of mobility and experience of travel in different historical periods. This, in turn, provides us with a concrete historical location, from which we can look out onto the structures of the larger world.
  • Empire to Nation: 20th Century Japanese Fiction and Film

    This course will examine modern Japanese fiction and film that engaged with Japan's shift from "empire" to "nation" (roughly from 1930s to 1960s) with a specific focus on identity formation via race, ethnicity, and nationalism.
  • Cinematic Translation, Generic Adaptation: Melodrama, Horror, Action

    This course centers on a set on cinematic genres-melodrama, horror, and action-that have proven to be particularly suitable to global adaptation and appropriation. Their mobility may stem from the physical responses (tears, fright, violence) they represent or elicit. We will examine films from Hollywood, European, and East Asian cinemas to interrogate the question of cultural translatability, while at the same time reconsidering the social and cultural effects of genre itself.
  • Seeing the Interior: Cinema, Media, Inverse Visuality

    From the invention of microscope, X-rays, to psychoanalysis and cinema, the world is increasingly mediated and constituted by visual technologies and new forms of visualities that collapse the boundaries between visibility and invisibility. This seminar explores visual representations of the "interior" and their mediating roles in the historical and social processes of colonialism, infrastructural revolution, (post-)socialism, and global capitalism in the East Asian and global context.
  • Empire to Nation: 20th Century Japanese Fiction and Film

    This course will examine modern Japanese fiction and film that engaged with Japan's shift from "empire" to "nation" (roughly from 1930s to 1960s) with a specific focus on identity formation via race, ethnicity, and nationalism.
  • Cinematic Translation, Generic Adaptation: Melodrama, Horror, Action

    This course centers on a set on cinematic genres-melodrama, horror, and action-that have proven to be particularly suitable to global adaptation and appropriation. Their mobility may stem from the physical responses (tears, fright, violence) they represent or elicit. We will examine films from Hollywood, European, and East Asian cinemas to interrogate the question of cultural translatability, while at the same time reconsidering the social and cultural effects of genre itself.
  • Seeing the Interior: Cinema, Media, Inverse Visuality

    From the invention of microscope, X-rays, to psychoanalysis and cinema, the world is increasingly mediated and constituted by visual technologies and new forms of visualities that collapse the boundaries between visibility and invisibility. This seminar explores visual representations of the "interior" and their mediating roles in the historical and social processes of colonialism, infrastructural revolution, (post-)socialism, and global capitalism in the East Asian and global context.

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