Communication and Culture | Topics in Media History (Topic: Japanese Film and Representations of Japan)
C420 | 25098 | Waller, G.

MW, 2:30 PM-3:45 PM, 800 E. 3rd St. – room 203
Required Film Screenings: M, 7:00 PM-10:00 PM, Location: TBA

Fulfills College S&H Requirement
Carries College Intensive Writing Credit

Instructor: Greg Waller
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 261
Phone: 855-5721

This course will explore the representation of Japan and Japanese
culture in the United States over the course of the twentieth
century by examining a broad range of Hollywood films as well as a
host of other texts, including television programs, government-
produced propaganda, travel literature, advertising, editorial
cartoons, popular music, short stories, and photography.

We’ll look in detail at several periods: the rise of modern Japan in
the early 1900s; Japan as enemy in World War II (including the
bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki); occupied and rebuilding Japan
in the 1950s; Japan as “number one” in the 1980s; and hip, techno
Japan at the beginning of the twenty-first century.  What stories
were told about Japan (often about Americans in Japan) in American
media? What recurring stereotypes and what broader range of images
of Japan circulated in the United States during these periods? How
has Japan figured in American popular culture as an object of
fascination and fear, curiosity and anxiety, opportunity and envy,
imitation and condescension?

This course satisfies the Intensive Writing Requirement, which
involves a minimum writing requirement of 5,000 words (exclusive of
exams and informal writing) and at least one “redraft.”  Writing
assignments will include several critical analyses, at least one
exam, and a 2500-word research paper.