Familiarity to Japanese popular culture, postwar Japanese history and Japanese language skills are preferred but not mandatory.
1) Regular attendance. Students may miss up to two classes but need to inform the instructor ahead of time. If the student is 10 minutes late to class, it counts as an absence. In case of sudden, extended, or unavoidable frequent absences, students should be in contact with the instructor (documentation may be necessary in some cases).
2) Reading notes. Students are expected to do all assigned readings before class and be prepared to actively participate in discussions. Select total of 5 weeks and submit a reading note (approximately 500 words in length) by midnight the day before class. Reading notes should include a very brief summary of the readings (less than 1/3 of your writing should be a summary), a possible connections to previous readings, and an extension to your project or interest. Please include at least one discussion question to be discussed in class. Reading notes are meant to prepare students for class discussions and to spur continual engagement with ideas building toward your project. Students must have their reading brought to class to enrich the discussion.
3) Discussion leadership. Students will sign up to start off the discussion of readings assigned for a given day. A set of questions or prompts should be prepared to spur discussion, as well (you may refer to other students’ reading notes for this). Students will do this at least once during the semester, and anything after that will be counted as extra credit. If there is more than one student signed up for the day, the students will work together as a group. Whether alone or in groups, students will bring to class and present from a document containing notes (e.g., a summary of the main argument, the context of the article, etc.), key terms, quotes, and questions. This document will be submitted to the instructor at the end of class. Students are expected to lead the discussion for at least half of the class period.
4) Project presentation. This is the presentation of your final project, but it should be something that they are interested in, working on, or have stumbled across that are related to Japanese visual or popular culture, contemporary Japan, media, news, and so on.
5) Written work (final project). Students will submit written work for evaluation at the end of the term. Options include annotated bibliography or chapter of the student’s graduation project and will depend on where the student is in his or her time in the program. The written work is intended to be a self-motivated project initiated, pursued, and brought to fruition by the student in the service of his or her graduation project. Rather than requiring the writing of a seminar paper that might not bring the student closer to his or her academic goals, this course is designed to support the independent projects and flourishing of individual students. Students should plan to meet with the instructor to decide what their written work will be – that is, what the student will be held accountable for submitting at the end of the term – and to be working on the project throughout the semester. Please keep in mind that the requirement of a regular term paper is approximately 6000 words, and the final project should aim for some sort of equivalence. Students are expected to turn in their plan for their final project after the group workshop. Project proposal must include a tentative abstract/summary/outline of your plan for your final project. It must include the following components: (a) tentative class reading that you will engage in this project, (b) concrete example and its brief explanation, (c) tentative significance of the example and your argument (d) plans for your research and analysis. Recommended length: 200-500 words.