Japanese Popular Culture
This course provides a rigorous introduction to the academic study of Japanese popular culture. Through careful attention to forms of popular culture such as anime (animated films or television shows), manga (comic books), TV dramas, short stories, popular music, fashion and contemporary art, each one of us will be able to develop a better understanding of contemporary Japan. In order to deepen our knowledge, we will learn various methods for studying and writing about the relation between our everyday lives, the processes of globalization, and the pleasures or displeasures that we derive from the objects of popular culture. Through the application of theoretical models to our practical experience of different forms of Japanese popular culture, we will learn to analyze critically some of the functions that these objects serve as sources of meaning, escape, and identity formation in our everyday lives.