2020 Essence of Humanities and Social Sciences34:Studies of Culture and Representation

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Humanities and social science courses
Kitamura Kyohhei 
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Course description and aims

Media in the modern era had once existed as various distinct mediums, but due to the mixing of contemporary digital media society, we are said to live in a “post-medium” age. However, such media conditions are peculiar to the present era, and in the past each medium played its own role in visual culture. This class explores the relationship between the images represented by media technology and people in the visual media culture after the 20th century.
This course aims to provide students with an understanding of specific historical contexts of various media that surround us, and acquire an attitude of thinking from historical perspectives about contemporary visual media culture.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand the history of media and explain it to others.
2) Historically grasp the relationship between the technology of media and human beings.
3) Comprehend the contemporary visual culture from a meta-point of view.


Medium, Visual culture, Film, Television, Star, Idol, Animation

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

Lectures and discussions are combined in each class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Overview of this course and introduction Understand modern media culture
Class 2 Film as a technology Historically understand film as a medium
Class 3 Television as a technology Historically understand television as a medium
Class 4 Auduo-visual media culture of movie star Explore the relationship between movie stars and audiences
Class 5 Auduo-visual media culture of idol Explore the relationship between idols and audiences
Class 6 Auduo-visual media culture of animation Understand the mechanism of animation and its culture
Class 7 Celebrity in contemporary media culture Understand the emergence of the Internet celebrity culture

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.


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Hase, Masato ed. Sociology of Visual-Imagery Media. Tokyo: Yuhikaku. ISBN: 978-4641174245. (Japanese)
Kitamura, Kyohhei. Cultural Sociology of Female Stars: Desiring the Madonna and Vamp in Postwar Japan. Tokyo: Sakuhinsya. ISBN: 978-4861826511 (Japanese)
Nishi, Kenji. Idol Culture through the Prism of Media Theory. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. ISBN: 978-4130530248 (Japanese)
Doi, Nobuaki. The Book Understanding Animations of the 21st Century. Tokyo: Filmartsha. ISBN: 978-4845916443(Japanese)

Assessment criteria and methods

Student's course scores are based on participation (40%) and final report (60%).

Related courses

  • LAH.H113 : Studies of Culture and Representation A
  • LAH.H215 : Studies of Culture and Representation B
  • LAH.H314 : Studies of Culture and Representation C

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

No prerequisites.

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



Seven total classes will be held for this course: May 6 (Wed), May 13 (Wed), May 20 (Wed), May 27 (Wed), June 3 (Wed), June 10 (Wed), June 17 (Wed) 7-8.

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