Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2022

  • A Japanese History of “New” Media

    R1B 002 | CCN: 25821

    Chelsea Morgen Ward

    Location: Dwinelle 263

    Date and Time: TU, TH 5:00pm - 6:29pm

    4 Units

    When we think of new media, we usually think of global technology and the digital realm. But what makes media “new”? How have local contexts shaped the development, spread, and experience of what we now think of as “global” media?

    This course looks at emerging forms of new media in Japan—from the mid-19th century through present day—including newspapers, radio, television, the Walkman, robotics, video games, mobile phones, and geolocation technology. Each week will pair a primary media object with a critical/analytical piece that both models strong academic writing and analyzes the cultural, economic, political, and technological forces specific to Japan that shaped larger conversations about these new media forms—their potential benefit and harm, and how they fit into our past, present, and future. While thinking about local contexts in order to challenge our assumptions about globalized media, we will ultimately broaden our scope to think about transnational questions of media infrastructure, digital life, and techno-orientalism.

    This class fulfills the second half of the College of Letters and Science’s Reading and Composition requirement, which aims to help students develop the necessary analytical reading and writing skills for university-level work. R1B courses further help students develop skills to incorporate their own research into their writing. As the primary objective of this course is to develop these skills in reading, writing, and research in order to critically engage with unfamiliar content, no prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese language is required.