This Course at MIT

This Course at MIT pages are part of the OCW Educator initiative, which seeks to enhance the value of OCW for educators.

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 21G.027 Asia in the Modern World: Images and Representations as it was taught by Professor Shigeru Miyagawa in Fall 2016.

This course explored images that pertain to the emergence of Japan as a modern state. It focused on images that depict Japan as it came into contact with the rest of the world after its long and deep isolation during the feudal period.

A unique feature of this offering was that the instructor used course materials from three concurrent MOOCs to help students learn the subject. These three MOOCs included Visualizing Japan (1850s–1930s): Westernization, Protest, Modernity (edX), Visualizing Postwar Tokyo (University of Tokyo), and Four Faces of Contemporary Japanese Architecture (University of Tokyo).

Course Outcomes

Images:

  • Learn to critically analyze images in their historical and cultural context;
  • Understand the meaning of choosing various forms (woodblock, photographs, etc.);
  • Become familiar with the creation of various media forms.

History:

  • Learn how Japan emerged from a long isolation to become a modern state;
  • Understand the role of Western imperialism in Japan, in particular, and Asia, in general;
  • Learn how public spaces are used to visualize priorities of the ruling body, the common populace.

Communication:

  • Learn to clearly communicate in writing;
  • Learn to clearly communicate orally.

Teamwork:

 

Meet the Educator

We said, ‘Why don’t we create a system that’s exactly the opposite of what the rest of the world is doing [in e-learning] and . . . just give [our materials] away so that anyone, anywhere in the world, can take advantage of MIT faculty’s commitment to education.’ That’s how we started with OpenCourseWare.

— Shigeru Miyagawa

In the following videos, Professor Shigeru Miyagawa describes his roles at MIT and the University of Tokyo. He also shares his role in conceptualizing MIT OpenCourseWare and his perspective on transforming residential education with open digital content.

 

Instructor Insights

A monochromatic drawing of people assembled around the center of a village.

In the following videos, Professor Shigeru Miyagawa describes various aspects of how he taught 21G.027 Asia in the Modern World: Images and Representations.

 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

None

Requirements Satisfied

  • GIR
  • CI-H

Offered

Every fall semester

The Classroom

  • A classroom with approximately thirty green armchairs.

    Seminar

    Seminars were held in a medium-sized classroom that accommodated up to 36 students and was equipped with tablet armchairs, a chalkboard, and a projector.

 

Assessment

Grade Breakdown

The students' grades were based on the following activities:

The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by 2-page paper. 10% 2-page paper
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by 5-page paper, revision & oral presentation. 20% 5-page paper, revision & oral presentation
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by 4-page paper & oral presentation. 20% 4-page paper & oral presentation
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by 10-page paper & oral presentation. 35% 10-page paper & oral presentation
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by class participation (including group work). 15% Class participation (including group work)

Student Information

14 students took this course when it was offered in Fall 2016.

Breakdown by Year

1/2 freshmen, 1/2 other undergraduates

Breakdown by Major

Variety of majors

Typical Student Background

1/3 had visited Japan prior to taking the course

Enrollment Cap

17 students

 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

3 hours per week
  • Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session; 26 sessions total.
  • Sessions were discussion-based, and included opportunities for student presentations.
 

Out of Class

9 hours per week

Students wrote and revised papers, prepared for oral presentations, and completed MOOC assignments.

 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
2 Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
3 Class session scheduled and an assignment due. No session scheduled. Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT.
4 Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
5 Class session scheduled and an assignment due. No session scheduled. Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
6 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
7 Class session scheduled and an assignment due. No session scheduled. Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
8 Student presentation scheduled and an assignment due. No session scheduled. Student presentation scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
9 Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
10 Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session scheduled and an assignment due. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT.
11 Guest speaker scheduled. No session scheduled. Guest speaker scheduled and an assignment due. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
12 Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. Team meeting scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
13 Student presentation scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
14 Individual consultation scheduled. No session scheduled. Student presentation scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
15 No session scheduled but an assignment due. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when class sessions are held. Class session
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate the date when a guest speaker is scheduled. Guest speaker
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate the date when a team meeting is scheduled. Team meeting to prepare the play
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when student presentations are held. Student presentations
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when individual consultation for the final paper is held. Individual consultation for the final paper
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate due dates. Due dates