Gender and Culture: Studies in Japanese and American Literature and Popular Culture
Last Updated: 11/14/2007
Faculty: Harumi Moruzzi cultural studies, film studies, literature
Major areas of study include Japanese literature, American literature, cultural studies, film studies, gender studies and expository writing.
Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
This program is designed for students who are interested in a cross-cultural exploration of the concept of gender. It is often said that American and Japanese cultures represent diametrically opposed values in many aspects of human behavior and customs. For instance, while American culture emphasizes the importance of individuals over groups, Japanese culture dictates group cohesion; while Japanese women are valued most as wives and mothers, American housewives may feel severely undervalued if they are not wage earners. Needless to say, the reality is not as simple as these stereotypical perceptions indicate; nevertheless, this dichotomized cross-cultural frame presents an interesting context in which we can explore many human issues, particularly gender issues. Thus, in this program we will explore the concept of gender through the critical examination of American and Japanese literature, theoretical essays, and popular culture.
At the beginning of the quarter, students will be introduced to the basic terms of film analysis to develop a more analytical and critical attitude toward the film-viewing experience. Early in the quarter they will also be introduced to major literary theories in order to become aware of varied approaches to literary analysis and interpretation. After familiarizing themselves with these analytical and theoretical foundations, students will examine representations of gender and culture as well as their interrelationships in American and Japanese literature and popular culture, through lectures, workshops, book and film seminars as well as expository writings.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Special Expenses: Up to $40 for a possible field trip.
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in cultural studies, literary studies, gender studies, and film studies.