Teaching In or About Japan

A Summer Session in Japanese Visual Culture at Temple University Japan
On-going Projects and Links

A Summer Session in Japanese Visual Culture
at Temple University Japan

Minami Azabu, Tokyo
May 14- June 27, 2007

This 6-week session will examine the notion of Japanese visual culture. We will take on a broad range of topics, involving the making / producing of visual phenomena / artifacts / objects, the visual products themselves, and acts of looking at, examining and interpreting characteristics of the visual/pictorial world.

Visual Culture will be defined very broadly, not to be limited to the fine arts. Attention will be distributed across a wide range of image-related activities from classical arts to vernacular examples, so popular in contemporary everyday life.

The program supports interests in producing visual imagery, in the exploration of visual means of communicating socio-cultural in-formation.

Topics will range from the visuality of calligraphy to manga, and the pictures taken and mailed (sha-mail) using modern telephony (keitai-cameras).

We will cover mass media and home media as related to public and private systems of visual/pictorial commun-ication. Intra-personal, interpersonal, small group and mass models of visual communication will be explored.

Much of the study of culture is visual – examination of the visually symbolic systems that comprise and support everyday life. One approach is to ask the general and ambiguous question: “How do they look?” This introduces a coordinated effort to examine relationship of appearance and perspective, of how people wish to be seen and how they prefer to see the world. The summer program will explore and evaluate this two-pronged approach to the visual culture of Japan.

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