Critical Cultural Theory II
December 17: Discussion of Miyoshi, “‘Globalization,’ Culture, and the University.” Students are reminded of the special meeting of the seminar Friday January 14, usual time and place, for final discussions. Term projects are due January 19.
Many thanks to all for making this an enjoyable and rewarding 2004 seminar, and best wishes for the holidays and a happy and productive new year.
December 10: Discussion of Jameson, “Notes on Globalization as a Philosophical Issue,” and other matters related and unrelated.
Homework: Miyoshi Masao, “‘Globalization,’ Culture, and the University,” The Cultures of Globalization, pp. 247~270.
December 3: Conclusion of the discussion of McVeigh, “Self Orientalism through Occidentalism,” and discussion of semester projects, which will be due in January, specific date to be decided in the December 17 seminar.
Homework: Fredric Jameson, “Notes on Globalization as a Philosophical Issue,” in The Cultures of Globalization, edited by Fredric Jameson and Masao Miyoshi (Duke University Press, 2003), pp. 54~77.
November 26: Lively discussion of McVeigh, “Self Orientalism through Occidentalism: How ‘English’ and ‘Foreigners’ Nationalize Japanese Students,” and related matters. We’ll begin the December 3 seminar with closing student remarks about the McVeigh chapter.
Homework: No reading for December 3. Instead, students should be prepared to discuss their end-of-term projects.
November 19: Thanks to the help of a good student presentation we were able to conclude our brief consideration of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire, I hope leaving students with some sense of the central ontological and epistemological issues the book raises. I’m afraid I was not particularly articulate in response to an excellent question about alternatives to neo-liberal or so-called “top-down” models of capitalism. May I suggest here, as some compensation, that students interested in this question might turn to the work of Amartya Sen (Nobel Prize in Economics, 1998) or Joseph E. Stiglitz (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2001). The library in 11454 is not particularly strong in economics, but does contain Professor Sen’s Development as Freedom (Oxford University Press, 1999) and Professor Stiglitz’s Globalization and its Discontents (Norton, 2002), either or both of which I would be pleased to lend.
After the macro-level work of Hardt and Negri we’ll turn next week to a local and micro-level study of “internationalism,” “Self Orientalism through Occidentalism: How ‘English’ and ‘Foreigners’ Nationalize Japanese Students,” chapter 7 of Brian McVeigh’s Japanese Higher Education as Myth (East Gate, 2002). Students may be interested to note, as I mentioned in the seminar, that among the several universities at which Professor McVeigh taught in several years in Tokyo was the Faculty of Policy Studies at Chuo University, as a part-time instructor in the English program for two or three years in the late 1990’s.
I appreciate students agreeing to alter the syllabus for the next two weeks. I’ve come to believe that the chapters originally assigned, from Birch, Schirato, and Srivastava’s Asia: Cultural Politics in the Global Age, are too introductory for this seminar.
November 12: Good student presentations on chapter 4 of Iriye and the Preface and beginning of Hardt and Negri. Note made that if one wanted further to explore the epistemological underpinnings of Empire a decent starting point would be the work of Gilles Deleuze. Here, fwiw, are two texts by Deleuze on Antonio Negri’s detention at Rebibbia Prison.
One other thought: We discussed and tried unsuccessfully to come to analytical terms with the remarkable media attention accorded the illness and death of Yasir Arafat. (Surely the passing of only one other political leader would have received notice in the top seven stories simultaneously on CNN International.) A step toward explanation: how much in-depth media coverage did you see of Falluja last week?
Homework: Hardt and Negri chapter 1.3, “Alternatives Within Empire.”
As always, interested students are invited to this week’s Korakuen lectures, John Clammer, “Cultural Policy and Cultural Change in East Asia: A Comparative Perspective” (Policy Studies Forum, Tuesday evening the 16th) and Tin Tin Htun, “Cultural Mandate and Motherhood in Japan” (Cultural Studies Open Seminar, Saturday evening the 20th).
Image from marcobaldino.com.
November 5: Good discussion of Chapter 3 of Iriye, chapter 6 of Mann, and of the contingency of history, the degree to which history may serve nationalist or internationalist (or a variety of other) ends, in other words. We’ll begin the November 12 seminar with our delayed discussion of the conclusion of Iriye’s Cultural Internationalism and World Order and then turn to a necessarily abbreviated section of the seminar on Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire (Harvard University Press, 2000).
Remarkably, for a time Harvard University Press made the full searchable (but not printable) text of Empire available as a .pdf download. It seems to have disappeared from the HUP site, but is still available (as I write) at angelfire.com, by clicking on the “local copy” link on this page. If you are interested in a full electronic copy I recommend that you get it quickly before Empire in the form of International Copyright Law leads to its removal.
Homework: In addition to the preface and chapters 1.1 and 1.2 of Empire, “World Order” and “Biopolitical Production” (pp. xi~41), please have a look also at the Wikipedia entries on Globalization (assigned last week) and Anti-globalization. We may or may not turn directly to these in the next few seminar meetings, but they will nonetheless provide useful contextualization for our discussions.
For the record, in my attempts to contextualize Hardt and Negri in the November 12 and November 19 seminar meetings, I shall be liberally drawing upon the critical work collected in Gopal Balakrishnan, ed., Debating Empire (Verso, 2003) and Paul A. Passavant and Jodi Dean, eds., Empire’s New Clothes (Routledge, 2003), along with Antonio Negri’s Time for Revolution (Continuum, 2003) and Negri on Negri (Routledge, 2004)
October 29: Student-led discussion of chapters 1 and 2 of Iriye. Students in charge of both chapters provided a good model for future student-led discussion of assigned texts. We’ll finish discussion of Iriye in the November 5 seminar and turn to chapter 6 of Michael Mann’s Incoherent Empire, “The War Against (Muslim) Terrorism,” pp. 159~93.
Students who wish to read further in material related to the Mann text might turn to two engaging articles in the November 4 New York Review of Books, Tony Judt’s Dreams of Empire and William Dalrymple’s The Truth About Muslims. Judt reviews several recent texts that turn to the idea of Empire, including, dismissively, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire, sections of which are on our syllabus in upcoming weeks. Dalrymple is as intelligent and judicious as always in review of recent works that disagree fundamentally about the historical relation of Islam and “the West.”
Homework: In addition to Mann please have a look at the Wikipedia entry for Globalization, which together with its links to other sections of the encyclopedia provides decent contextualization for the themes and concepts we’re addressing. The “Globalization” entry at the Japanese Wikipedia (which I cannot link to because it includes non-standard characters in the URL) may also be useful, although is not nearly as detailed as the English entry.
October 22: Discussion of reasons for the reluctant movement of texts rather than projects into the center of the course, and announcement of the texts for the remainder of the term. Brief discussion of projects. Failure to stir discussion of whether public policy in Japan is intended to limit rather than to facilitate internationalism and internationalist perspectives.
Homework: Iriye, chapter 4, “The Cultural Foundations of the New Globalism,” and conclusion, “Toward a Cultural Definition of International Relations,” pp. 131~86.
The October 29 seminar will be a discussion of Iriye’s Cultural Internationalism and World Order, with student volunteers leading the discussion of each of the four chapters. Following Iriye our reading will be Michael Mann, Incoherent Empire (Verso, 2003), chapter 6, “The War Against (Muslim) Terrorism,” pp. 159~93.
October 15: Discussion of Public Power in the Age of Empire, Cultural Internationalism and World Order, and the nature of the projects for the term. I’m pleased with the proposals we heard from Rie, Yasu, Mitsugu, and Hiroshi. We’ll continue formulating projects in upcoming weeks, and will in time turn to a more details discussion of the Iriye text.
Homework: Iriye, Cultural Internationalism and World Order chapter 3, “The Separation of Culture from Internationalism,” pp. 91~130. Continue thinking about your projects. We’ll hear proposals from other students next week.
October 8: We watched the Democracy Now DVD of Arundhati Roy’s August 16 lecture before the American Sociological Association, “Public Power in the Age of Empire.” You may read the full text of the lecture here, or listen to or watch it by clicking the links below the title on this page. Click the image at the left to go to a page of links to work by and about Arundhati Roy.
Homework: 1) be prepared to discuss the ways in which “Public Power in the Age of Empire” is related to the concepts of internationalism and globalization; 2) read Iriye, Cultural Internationalism and World Order chapter 2, “The Origins of Cultural Internationalism,” pp. 51~90.
October 1: Discussion of the meaning of “international,” “internationalism,” “internationalist,” “transnational (-ism, -ist),” and whether the lives we lead in Tokyo may be considered “international.” We determined that surely our lives here are international in terms of the commodities that we buy and consume, and that an “international life” in other terms is available if we choose it. We determined as well that this does not depend on the ability to speak a language other than Japanese.
Discussion of the way that this class is intended to be a verb rather than a noun.
Homework: Read and be prepared to discuss the introduction and first chapter of Akira Iriye’s Cultural Internationalism and World Order (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997) and if you are able please attend Professor Iriye’s lecture “Cultural Globalization in East Asia” next Tuesday evening October 5 in the Policy Studies Forum.
Be thinking about a project for the term that will engage you in some international activity in the terms we discussed. We shall continue discussing the possible nature of these projects in our October 8 meeting.
I’ll locate and make available next week the section of the UNESCO World Culture Report 2000: Cultural Diversity, Conflict and Pluralism that I mentioned, in which Japan is found to be #1 among the world’s nations in regard to “nationalistic feelings.”
September 24: Introduction to the seminar for prospective students.