2020 Essence of Humanities and Social Sciences24:History of Social Thought 1

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Humanities and social science courses
Hatanaka Kenji 
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Course description and aims

We discuss and examine important topics on the history of social thought.
This course focuses on utopianism in the early modern age in Japan. Students will be able to understand the utopian imagination in the era, and its social and cultural backgrounds.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Explain social and cultural characteristics of each era that produced various utopian works.
2) Obtain practical skills required in studying on cultural and intellectual history.


utopia, intellectual history

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Lectures with slides and video. Group discussion.

*This class will be carried out as remote lectures via Zoom (live streaming) with the PDF materials.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction: Historical Approaches to Utopia
Class 2 "Musume": Vincent van Gogh paints "La Mousmé" (1888) Pierre Loti, Madame Chrysanthème, 1887.
Class 3 "Rinri": Watsuji Tetsuro examines the idea of subjectivity (1920) Watsuji Tetsuro, Rinri-gaku, 1937.
Class 4 Peer-review activity and discussion Edit own paper 1 based on the peer-review.
Class 5 utopia and dystopia
Class 6 "Bunka" Life: Joji dreams of "a simple life" with Naomi (1924) Tanizaki Junichiro, Chijin-no Ai, 1925.
Class 7 Yamato: Yasuda Yojuro honors "Yamato" as the home of Japanese culture(1932) Yasuda Yojuro, Taikan Shijin-no Goichininsha, 1938.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Hand out lecture materials

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials are provided during class.

Assessment criteria and methods

paper 1: 40%, paper 2(final paper): 60%
Details will be explained in the first class.

Related courses

  • LAH.H307 : Special Lecture: Intellectual History in Japan
  • LAH.S420 : Essence of Humanities and Social Sciences20:Western Thought

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Nothing required

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).


Office hours

As needed

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