Self and Culture: Studies in Japanese and American Literature and Cinema
Last Updated: 11/14/2007
Faculty: Harumi Moruzzi cultural studies, literature, film studies
Major areas of study include cultural studies, Japanese and American literature, literary analysis, film studies, expository writing and psychology.
Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
It is often said that American and Japanese cultures represent the mirror images of human values. For instance, while American culture emphasizes the importance of individuals over groups, Japanese culture dictates group cohesion. Certainly, the reality is not as simple as these stereotypes indicate; nevertheless, this dichotomized comparative cultural frame presents an interesting context in which we can explore many human issues. Thus, in this program we explore the concept of self through the critical examination of American and Japanese literature, cinema and popular media.
At the beginning of the quarter the students will be introduced to major literary theories in order to familiarize themselves with varied approaches to literature; then, students will examine representations of individuals and cultures in American and Japanese literature through seminars and critical writings. Weekly film viewing and film seminars will accompany the study of literature in order to facilitate a deeper exploration of the topics and issues presented in the literary works. Early in the quarter the students will also be introduced to the rudiments of film analysis to develop a more analytical and critical attitude towards the film-viewing experience.
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, literature, film studies and psychology.