Course // Global Japan: Art, Anime, and Visual Culture, St. Catherine University

Art History 2994 (Topics in Global Contemporary Art) | St. Catherine University

This course considers the global trajectory of Japanese art and visual culture from 1945 to 2016. From sushi to karaoke to martial arts, Japanese goods have permeated US markets. This class seeks to understand this phenomenon in the realm of art and visual culture through the analysis of diverse material including advertising, animation, comics, film, graphic design, installation, mascot culture, painting, photography, popular music, and street fashion. Grounded in art historical and visual studies methods, with supplementary readings from anthropology and media studies, this class will investigate issues such as the overlap between comics and contemporary art; Japanese and American approaches to animation; and the influence of Japanese graphic design on product packaging. The course will proceed thematically to address issues of nationalism, race, gender, domesticity, consumer culture, subculture, environment, minority representation, and the post-human through lecture and discussion, individual and group work, and film and video screenings. Our goal will be to critically interpret the role of Japanese art and visual culture in an increasingly interconnected world.

(Artwork: This piece by Murakami Takashi is called Panda [Fiberglass, 2002] can be seen at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. It is one of many contemporary artworks discussed in the course alongside material from popular visual culture. Photographed by author.)


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Christina M. Spiker | Course // Global Japan: Art, Anime, and Visual Culture, St. Catherine University
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