Usually a course on aspects of one of the societies and cultures studied in the Asian Studies program (India, China and Japan) or a comparative treatment of aspects of these cultures.
Spring Semester informationAndra Alvis
290A: Tps:Manga, Anime, Religion
Tps:Manga, Anime, Religion
"Manga, Anime and Religion" explores Japanese pop culture's frequent references to Buddhism and Shinto--allusions that generally leave a non-Japanese audience puzzled. What's so funny about a goddess with an inflatable rock cave? Why did those Buddhist monks just turn into (Yikes!) evil insect space aliens... We'll start off by gaining "cultural literacy" in Buddhism and Shinto, so that we recognize signs of religion when they appear in Japanese pop culture. Next we'll move on to considering why references to Buddhism and Shinto are so prevalent, with a special focus on the genres of fantasy and comedy. Finally, we'll turn to the question of how manga and anime portray Japanese religions as social institutions: looking at the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly. By the end of the semester, you'll be able to appreciate all the best scenes from a popular manga like Saint Young Men--and explain to your roommate why you're laughing out loud that Buddha has gotten trapped on a late-night train with rowdy, drunken businessmen holding onto his ears.
290B: Tps:Transforming China
This course will examine social movements that have shaped and continue to shape China's history and culture. We will explore topics such as environmental movements, gender equality, economic equality, migrant-workers rights, and political change. We will look at both historical movements, as well as social movements and protests currently occurring in China.