Professor Thomas Looser | M: 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
This course looks at the various elements that make up and structure the contemporary urban subject in Asia. This includes architecture, art, technology and new media, and economic (and political economic) conditions. Attention is paid to the ways in which each of these factors create and organize life—but the aim is also to examine how these elements are being recombined in ways that point to new orders of social life in general. The boundaries of crime, and of subculture, play an integral role in this view. While sociological analysis is part of the approach, the course also draws heavily on the ways in which conditions are formulated and expressed in fiction, film, animation, and fine art. The course entails some historical overview and comparison with earlier moments (especially the early 20th century), but the emphasis is on the situation now. It is also meant to provide a comparative view between major Asian cities, but will focus on particular cities. The conditions being discussed are also global, and so inevitably the topics expand beyond Asia as well, even while they have specificity in different regions. At stake overall is the changing conditions of life, of mass culture, and of the social community in Asia and the world.