Contemporary Japanese Art
Cross-listed with ASIAN 392-001
What can we learn by examining other cultures and times? Why bother with history? This course examines examples of premodern and contemporary popular visual culture in order to reveal fundamental themes common to many times and people throughout Japan. Yet the class does not end there. By exploring cultures that may seem distant and exotic to many of you, we will create a mirror in which we can vew ourselves and our own cultures.
We will analyze a wide variety of films, photography, painting, sculpture, architecture, comics, advertisements, websites, and other media will serve as lenses through which we will focus our explorations of three main themes: nation, bodies, and dreams. These will provide the frames for considering concepts about nature and place, personal and national identities, sex and gender, humanity and its borders, notions of beauty and ugliness, fantasy and virtual realities, violence and war, and consumption. We will also explore parallels between the United States and Japan in recent decades, considering the ways that visual cultures manifest and shape soft power and national identities in different contexts throughout the world.
HISTART Distribution Requirements: Asia (includes China, Japan, India, South and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific), Medieval, Modern and Contemporary.