Lecture Notes

Week 1: Introduction
1 Introduction to the Course (PDF)
Week 2: Analyzing Japan / Analyzing Popular Culture
2 Film Segment: "The Japanese Version" (PDF)
3 The History of Popular Music in Japan (PDF)
Week 3: Racial Boundaries and Representation in Popular Culture
4 Film Segment: "Doubles" (PDF)
5 Race in Japanese Hip-Hop (PDF)
Week 4: Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Culture
6 Seminar on "Gender Roles and Anime."

If unable to attend the Seminar, then your Assignment is to Write a 2-page Commentary Contrasting Two of the Assigned Readings (Due by Ses #8) (PDF
7 Special Event: "Comfort Women of Korea visit MIT."

If you cannot attend, an additional assignment can be done instead (PDF)
Week 5: Identity, Resistance, and Popular Culture: Borders and Crossings
8 Japanese Identity: Homogeneity or Difference? (PDF)
9 Methods and Approaches to the Study of Popular Culture (PDF)
Week 6: Manga and Cultural Production
10 Harvard Talk (PDF)
11 A Sociology of Cultural Production of Manga (PDF)
Week 7: Manga and Power
12 Metropolis: Fritz Lang to Tezuka to Otomo
13 Manga and Social Commentary
Week 8: Manga and Anime
14 Harvard Talk
15 Who are the Otaku?
Week 9: Assessing Manga as Cultural Form
16 In Class Discussion of Manga Issues Re: Essay 2
Week 10: Re-Imagining Japan
18 Tradition and Transnationalism
19 Flow or Appropriation - Whose Culture is it? (2)
Week 11: Japanese Television
20 Student Presentations 1
21 Japanese Television
Week 12: Japanese Popular Literature
22 Student Presentations 2
23 Japanese Popular Literature
Week 13: Crisis and Restructuring
Week 14: Popular Culture and Japan's Future