ASIA 341

Asia Pop! An Exploration of the Popular Culture of 20th and 21st Century East Asia

For the first half of the twentieth century, China and Japan were most often viewed as sites of imperialism and war. During the second half of the twentieth century, discussions of Japan focused on its economic boom while discussion of China focused on the entrenchment of the Chinese Community Party. While this course gives attention to major political and economic developments in East Asia during the past century, the focus is on East Asia as a site of cultural production. Among the sources are critical essays in the 1910s meant to spur China towards literary and cultural revolution, anime that explores post-apocalyptic visions of Japan, and Mandopop songs that contemplate what it means to be young and modern in China today. All of these sources examine interactions within East Asia and between East and West in the development and dissemination of popular culture during the past century.