|Dates||Departure from U.S.:||Sat., Aug. 5, 2017|
|Arrival:||Sun., Aug. 6, 2017|
|Mandatory Orientation:||Mon., Aug. 7, 2017|
|First Day of Class:||Tues., Aug. 8, 2017|
|Last Day of Class:||Fri., Sept. 8, 2017|
|Departure for the U.S.
(or personal travel):
|Sat., Sept. 9, 2017|
This course examines popular culture with a focus on the relationship of visual culture and technology in Japan. While technology is the dominant mode by which we increasingly conduct our everyday lives, it is through popular cultural processes that technology is shaped. In this seminar we study this complex relationship and conceptualize different ways of thinking about technology and is visual cultural manifestations through urban life. With the city of Tokyo as a focal point, we study how various technologies, such as cell phones, Internet, automobiles, and cinema, participate in shaping the urban landscape.
Moving outside of Tokyo, Koyto will serve as an excellent city to explore the relationship between religion, urban culture and technology. Known as “the city of thousand temples” and once a capital city of the emperor (from 794-1868), Kyoto’s numerous Zen temples such as Toji, Byodoin, and Daitokuji represent a fascinating example of how Zen Buddahism has played and continues to play a critical role in the formation of Japanese modernity in light of dramatic modernization projects since the Meji period (1868-1912).
Babak Rahimi is Associate Professor of Communication, Culture and Religion at the Department of Literature and the director of the Third World Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He earned his PhD from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, in October 2004. Rahimi has also studied at the University of Nottingham, where he obtained an M.A. in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (1997), and the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, 2000-2001.
Rahimi’s research examines the relationship between culture, religion and politics. His book, Theater-State and Formation of the Early Modern Public Sphere in Iran: Studies on Safavid Muharram Rituals, 1590-1641 C.E. (Brill 2011), studies the relationship between ritual, public space and state power in early modern Iranian history. Rahimi has been an expert guest on various media programs like The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, BBC and CNN, in addition to NPR and On the Media. Also, he has been a visiting scholar at the Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin, and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His current research project is on the relationship between digital culture, politics and religion.