COVID-19: Essential Information

Carole Cavanaugh

Kawashima Professor Emerita of Japanese Studies

 
 by appointment.

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1345 - Art & Nature of Contemplation      

The Art and Nature of Contemplation
What would it be like to attend to oneself, to others, and to the world with the concentration and insight of a Zen-inspired poet? How does a forest, a river, a neighborhood, or a city feel to an artist in open attentiveness to the immediate environment? This seminar invites students to experience contemplative knowing of self and surroundings through mindfulness meditation and through daily reflections in words, sketches or photographs. We will learn about the traditional origins of meditation and more recent uses of mindfulness for personal wellbeing. To give context to our own practice we will engage critically with essays, poems, art installations, and films that have arisen from contemplations of nature in ancient and modern times. Our study begins with Japanese poets Saigyo and Basho, the classic filmmaker Ozu, and the anime director Miyazaki. We then explore and compare meditative works by American and international writers and artists Annie Dillard, Andy Goldsworthy, and Maya Lin. We will conclude with the question of the relationship between mindfulness and social awareness in the works of Shigeru Ban. 3 hrs. sem/disc. AAL ART CW

Fall 2016

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INTD 1200 - The Imagination of Disaster      

The Imagination of Disaster
The American atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 and nuclear testing throughout the Cold War spawned disaster films in both the U.S. and Japan. Films imagining nuclear catastrophe and contamination emerged in several genres, including science fiction, film noirs, documentaries, anime, and even comedy. Susan Sontag’s seminal essay, “The Imagination of Disaster”, will be our touchstone for exploring nuclear fear in films from the 1950s to the 1980s. Students will analyze the ways in which the representation of nuclear apocalypse is similar and different across the two cultures. Films for study include Godzilla (Honda, 1954),/ D.O.A./ (Maté, 1950), Record of Living Being (Kurosawa, 1955), Kiss Me Deadly (Altman, 1955), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Kubrick, 1964), The Day the Earth Stood Still (Wise, 1951), Atomic Café / (Rafferty, 1982), /Akira (Otomo, 1988), and Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind (Miyazaki, 1984). AAL ART CMP NOA

Winter 2018

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JAPN 0175 / FMMC 0175 - Anime Masterworks      

Anime: Masterworks of Japanese Animation
How did anime emerge as a distinctive national genre in global popular culture at the turn of the 21st century? What social conditions in Japan promoted adaptations of manga (graphic novels) into feature-length films for adult audiences? In this course students will address these questions by analyzing the forms and contexts of ten masterworks by the most prominent directors of Japanese animation. We will study the relation of anime to classic Disney films, live-action Hollywood cinema, and Japanese aesthetic traditions. Students will probe the political and ethical questions anime raises about the atomic bombings of World War II, individual identity, consciousness and the body, and the human impact on the natural environment. We will study several directors and give special attention to Miyazaki as an anime auteur. Films include Grave of the Fireflies, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Perfect Blue, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and The Wind Rises. 3 hrs. lect. AAL ART NOA

Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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JAPN 0240 / FMMC 0240 - Gun and Sword: Japan&US Films      

Guns and Swords: Violence and Masculinity in Japanese and American Films
Cowboys, samurai, gangsters, and yakuza are fabled figures embodying national myths of honor and resistance in American and Japanese films. Swordfight and gunfight genres grapple with the issue of lethal weapons in the hands of individuals when the power of the state is absent, corrupt, or ineffectual. Familiar motifs, archetypal characters, and straightforward plots uphold traditional aspirations threatened by the forces of modernity. Japanese and American directors have exploited these conventions to create cinematic masterpieces about questions of violence, righteousness, and masculinity. In this course we will explore cross-cultural influences between swordfight and gunfight genres as we compare their heroes, antiheroes, conflicts, and codes. Films for study include Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, The Tale of Zatoichi, The Searchers, High Noon, Unforgiven, Pale Flower, Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill, White Heat, The Godfather, and Goodfellas. 3hrs. lect/disc. AAL ART CMP NOA

Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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JAPN 0290 - The Tale of Genji (in English)      

The Tale of Genji (in English)
/The Tale of Genji/ is the world’s first psychological novel. This rich narrative centers on the political intrigues and passionate love affairs of Genji, a fictional prince barred from the throne. In this course we will explore the narrative through a close reading in English translation. Students will gain knowledge of the aesthetic, religious, and social contexts of the Heian period, one of the most vibrant eras in Japanese culture. We will also trace how Genji monogatari has been interpreted over ten centuries in art, theater, films, and most recently, manga. (Formerly JAPN 0190) 3hrs. lect/disc. AAL LIT

Fall 2016

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JAPN 0500 - Independent Project      

Qualified students may be permitted to undertake a special project in reading and research under the direction of a member of the department. Students should seek an advisor and submit a proposal to the department well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken.

Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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JAPN 0700 - Honors Thesis      

Honors Thesis
Students write a thesis in English with a synopsis in Japanese on literature, film, or culture. The topic for the thesis is chosen in consultation with the instructor. (JAPN 0475)

Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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Program in International and Global Studies

Robert A. Jones '59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753