This module provides a practical skill base for further studies of Japan, derived from a focus on the anthropology of contemporary Japan. Students will engage in classroom discussion, review a recent ethnography, and research and write a major research paper on a topic relating to Japan. Students will have some freedom to choose the topic.
Students learn critical reading and research skills, organizational skills, pre-writing and writing techniques, and editing skills. Students are taught ways to summarize scholarship and look for gaps in scholarly discussions. Students frequently present on the status of their project both in writing and verbally. Students take part in a peer review exercise at the end of the semester, reading the work of 2-3 others and providing constructive feedback. The module meets once a week in a seminar setting (2.5 hours), with some weeks spent instead in individual consultation with the lecturer (15-20 minutes each).
Ideally, students have already taken JS1101E/GEK1002 Introduction to Japanese Studies.
10% Participation: Participation means active listening and taking notes during lecture, listening to your peers and sharing ideas during discussion, and participating fully in exercises. I will take attendance, and your attendance is critical to maximizing your participation.
30% Project: You will engage in a series of pre-writing and presentation stages that will prepare you for your final project. These consist of the following:
Book review (600 words) - Review one book-length study cited in the papers you read by Robertson or Stevens. Rewrites are possible and encouraged. (10% - will be marked)
Conceptual map – Prepare some form (be creative) of conceptual map that explains the context of your topic (5% - full marks for on-time completion)
Introduction and literature review: building on your conceptual map, compose a rough introduction to the topic. Include a short review of at least five key texts that inform your understanding of the topic. These can be theoretical, primary sources, etc. You will give a short presentation of this in class (5% - full marks for on-time completion)
First draft: first complete draft of the paper, incorporating all parts. (5% - full marks for on-time completion)
10% Peer Review: review the first drafts of several other students. You will be assessed on your careful reading of your peers’ work and the quality of your comments, as well as how well you answer the assigned questions about their work. You will find the questions in Turnitin.
50% Essay (4000 words). Choose a topic in consultation with Dr. McMorran and write a paper similar to a Survey Article found in Social Science Japan Journal. You will be assessed on writing style and mechanics (grammar and usage), content, clarity of thesis, relevance of topic, and incorporation of appropriate resources. Included in this project is a final presentation of your findings. I will provide an easy-to-understand grading rubric in the IVLE workbin.
100% CA - no final exam