[The PRINT OUT VERSION runs fourteen pages and includes the SYLLABUS in addition to a full COURSE SCHEDULE (including ASSIGNMENT DUE DATES and REQUIRED READINGS).  PLEASE NOTE: This version of the course syllabus and class schedule has not been updated since being uploaded to the course web site on January 20. 2005.  Please check the web site version for more up-to-date information. UNDERLINED WORDS indicate links to other web-based materials]

Power And Authority In Nonwestern Societies

 
INSTRUCTORS:

QINGSHAN TAN, DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
LEE MAKELA, DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY

 

SYLLABUS

 

INTRODUCTION: This course provides an opportunity to explore the concepts "power" and "authority" as experienced within nonwestern societies and cultures. Using a variety of approaches, the course will explore notions, types and uses of power and authority through political, historical and cultural "case studies" drawn from the experiences of the Chinese and the Japanese in East Asia. Our discussions also will provide the chance for comparisons with the way power and authority operate in American culture and society.

Among other topics, we will examine the following in detail:

The course seeks to illuminate answers to the following set of specific questions:

The course of study has been designed to encourage students to think “outside the box” about the ways in which “power” and “authority” (and other related concepts) influence -- and are affected by – individual lifestyles, community concerns, national issues and international affairs, both within the United States and abroad.

Those enrolled will be encouraged to develop and enhance communication skills, both oral and written, in the pursuit of this goal and should expect to emerge from the course with an enlarged, more detailed, more reflective understanding and appreciation of the world around them and with improved abilities to communicate efficiently, accurately and with insight.

Course content will be delivered through readings, in-class discussion, the Internet, computer-aided presentations and lecture.  Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of this content through a series of three short (3 - 4 page) essays on assigned topics.  Readings for the course are available online through Electronic Course Reserve or at Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

ASSUMPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS: Often individual student expectations concerning a course of study vary substantially from those of fellow students and from those of the course instructor. The following paragraphs are intended to clarify what is assumed and expected of students enrolled in this course.

These guidelines are meant to provide a common ground upon which to build and to avoid misunderstandings that might otherwise arise.

Please read through the guidelines carefully and then indicate at your earliest convenience (via an email to the instructor) your understanding and acceptance of these standards. 
  
This course has been designed with the following set of assumptions and expectations in mind:  

If you fit the above profile and are willing to make the commitment, you should find the course challenging but manageable.  
  
If not (you may be working more hours per week, have a set of demanding family obligations beyond the ordinary, be enrolled for more than twelve hours this semester or regularly arrive in class after the start of lecture), you should carefully calculate the cost of trying to work this course into your existing schedule -- ask yourself, for example, if you are willing to accept a lower (or failing) grade for not having the time available to be in class or to devote to course expectations and requirements. 

Students will not be expected nor required to march as part of a single group in lock step towards a predefined set of goals. Instead each will be asked to define personal learning objectives, to chart an independent course towards their achievement and to demonstrate mastery of the general subject matter of the course in a variety of ways to the satisfaction of the instructor.

If you are unwilling -- or unable -- to undertake this self-motivated, independently-directed, individually - monitored, active approach to learning, you might be better off in an alternative course offering utilizing a more compatible and comfortable educational setting. 

If any of these essential skills are particularly weak, you must be prepared to devote extra time and effort to their remediation in order to accomplish fully what the course requires of you.

EMAIL THE INSTRUCTOR
(CLICK ON THE UNDERLINED WORD FOR AN EMAIL FORM TO USE)
NO LATER THAN MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2005
TO INDICATE YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE
OF THESE EXPECTATIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS .

PLEASE INCLUDE IN THE MESSAGE YOUR CURRENTLY PREFERRED EMAIL ADDRESS.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: By the end of fifteen weeks of instruction, students enrolled in POWER AND AUTHORITY IN NONWESTERN SOCIETIES should be able to --

  1. effectively conceptualize a variety of meanings inherent in usage of the terms "power" and "authority";
     
  2. analyze, using appropriate supporting examples and illustrations drawn from course content, various manifestations (economic, social, political, religious, cultural) of power and authority applicable in a variety of historical, social and cultural contexts;
     
  3. illustrate the interplay between power and authority utilizing a variety of specific illustrative examples drawn from the study of nonwestern societies and cultures;
     
  4. examine with insight and understanding the expression of power and authority in specific contexts (traditional / modern / contemporary / postmodern;  western / nonwestern).

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Three written essays are required of each student enrolled in POWER AND AUTHORITY IN NONWESTERN SOCIETIES.

In addition regular class attendance is required, and students are expected to have completed assigned tasks as listed in the COURSE SCHEDULE prior to coming to class.

Written assignments submitted at the beginning of each classroom session provide proof of both attendance (30 points) and preparation (70 points); taken together these 100 possible points will constitute 25% of the final course grade.

Each of the three essays (also 100 points each) will count 25% towards the final course grade as well, with evidence of improved performance over the semester taken into account.

FINAL COURSE GRADE CALCULATION

attendance
preparation
essay one
essay two
essay three

40 points
60 points
100 points
100 points
100 points

TOTAL 400 points

 

COURSE SCHEDULE

 

IN THE BEGINNING ...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE
 
  
An introduction to the instructors and an overview of the syllabus, the objectives of the course of study, the course web site, course assignments, grading standards and the approach to the subject matter of the course. 

Friday, January 21, 2005
APPROACHES TO THE CONCEPTS OF "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" - DISTINGUISHING AND DEFINING THE "NONWESTERN" 
  
How and why did the concept of the "nonwestern" emerge? What can the term itself help us understand about ourselves as "westerners" and the assumptions we make with regard to our approach to the rest of the world?

suggested web assignment:

MAP ASSIGNMENT DUE

Monday, January 24, 2005
APPROACHES TO THE CONCEPTS OF
 "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" - THE INFLUENCE OF MODERNIZATION THEORY 
  
Is there a meaningful difference between "western" and "modern"? How does this distinction relate to our assumption of the "nonwest" as "third world" and/or "traditional"? How has the general acceptance of the West's pattern of development as "normal" influence our views of the nonwestern world?

reading assignment (to be completed BEFORE coming to class):

[click on any listing below to be taken to the reading itself on Electronic Course Reserve; you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader software on your computer to view this material -- if you don't yet have this program on your machine, click on the underlined words above to take you to the Adobe homepage from which you can download the needed files. We recommend that in most cases you print out a copy of each reading for your own personal use (using the Acrobat Reader's PRINT function). If you find this process too slow or cumbersome from your home computer, you can access reading assignments from any CSU computer and print out copies for use eslewhere.]

WRITTEN RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ON ASSIGNED READING DUE

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
EXPLORING THE CONCEPT OF THE "NONWESTERN" AS CULTURAL IDENTITY
  
An examination of the interactions between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft and ways in which these terms impact the notion of "nonwestern" culture.

WRITTEN REACTIONS TO OSAKA 2001 SURVEY DUE

Friday, January 28, 2005
POWER AND AUTHORITY: A CULTURAL MODEL

This class introduces a cultural model of power and authority in the study of Chinese power, authority, and legitimacy. It examines how culture evolves from historical experience, foreign influence and indigenous factors, and how culture shapes power and authority.

Monday, January 31, 2005
DISTINGUISHING “SOFT” POWER FROM “HARD” POWER

An exploration of Joseph Nye’s conceptualization of “soft power” and its importance particularly in the exercise of international influence.

reading assignment

Shannon Quinn, “KSG Dean Joseph Nye Advocates the Use of ‘Soft Power”, News and Perspectives from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, April 4, 2002.

Joseph S. Nye, “The Power We Must Not Squander”, News and Perspectives from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, January 3, 2000.

Jack Snyder, “Moral Overstretch: Provoking Resistance to the American Hegemonic Order?”, FATHOM: the Source for Online Learning, Columbia University, 2001.
OR
Joseph Nye, “Soft Power in the Information Age”, IPI World Congress 2000, Boston, May 2, 2000.
OR
Max Frankel, “The Paradox of American Power: Sound of One Saber Rattling”, The New York Times, May 26, 2002.

WRITTEN OBSERVATIONS ON ASSIGNED READING DUE

Wednesday, February 2, 2005
LOOKING AT ISSUES OF "SOFT POWER" IN THE NONWESTERN WORLD

reading assignment:

Friday, February 4, 2005
LOOKING AT ISSUES OF POWER AND AUTHORITY IN JAPAN: "THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES"

A case study drawn from the Meiji era (1868 - 1912) in Japanese history focusing on the "real life' application of concepts discussed to this point in the course to the definition of imperial authority and power in late nineteenth century Japan.

reading assignment:

WRITTEN OBSERVATIONS ON ASSIGNED READING DUE

EXPLORING THE EXERCISE  OF "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" AMONG THE CHINESE 

Monday, February 7, 2005 - Friday, February 11, 2005:
INTRODUCTION: GEOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL CHINA

Focusing on how geography, history, and tradition shape Chinese concepts of power and authority

reading assignment:

Robert E. Gamer, Understanding Contemporary China (Lynne Rienner Publishers; 2nd edition, 2003) [hereafter"Gamer"], Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2005

ESSAY ASSIGNMENT ONE DUE

Monday, February 14, 2005 - Friday, February 18, 2005:
THE IMPACT OF MODERN HISTORY

Examining the impact of modern historical events on political discourse and how the Communist party acquired power.

reading assignment:

Gamer, chapter 4: pp.65-72, chapters 6 and 7.

Monday, February 21, 2005 - Friday, February 25, 2005:
THE MEANING OF POWER AND LEGITIMACY

Continuing to examine how legitimacy and authority were established by the Chinese government through ideology and economic development.

reading assignment:

Gamer, chapter 4: pp. 73-81;chapters 5 and 11.

Monday, February 28, 2005 - Friday, March 4, 2005:
SOCIAL DEPENDENCY AND POWER

Critically examining the socialist myth of dependency as a way to legitimize the system and why the Chinese government initiated reform to boost legitimacy and power.

reading assignment:

Gamer, chapter 10.

Monday, March 7, 2005 - Friday, March 11, 2005:
POWER AND AUTHORITY IN THE RELIGIOUS TRADITION

Studying how religion is related to power and authority and the government's new policy toward religion as a way to acquire a new basis of legitimacy for reforming China.

reading assignment:

Gamer, chapter 12: pp. 339 - 376.

SPRING RECESS:
MARCH 14, 2005 - MARCH 18, 2005

Monday, March 21, 2005 - Friday, March 25, 2005:
PARTS AND LITERATURE: CHALLENGING POWER AND AUTHORITY

Looking at the role of literature and the arts in reforming China and how artists use the arts to lodge protests against government power and authority.

reading assignment:

Gamer, chapter 13.

ASSIGNMENT THREE DUE

"POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" AS A CULTURAL CONSTRUCT IN JAPAN

Monday, March 28, 2005
CONCEPTUALIZING "POPULAR CULTURE"

An examination of differences between "popular" and "high" culture and what an examination of the former can tell us about the nature and exercise of “power” and “authority”.

web assignments (optional but highly recommended):

A basic definition of culture provided by a Learning Topic module "What Is Culture?" developed at Washington State University provides some useful characteristics to consider.

Clifford Geertz in his introduction to a book of essays writes about "Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture" in a chapter that outlines some of the fundamental areas of inquiry of interest to anthropologists, sociologists, historians and others interested in the field of "cultural studies".

For an idea of just how extensive this arena of intellectual inquiry has become in the past four decades or so, check out Sarah Zupko's extensive Popculture.com web site, especially her list of Theorists and Critics with its multiple links to writings by and about the most significant thinkers working today on enhancing our understanding of how (and why) "culture" works the way it does.

IN-CLASS EXERCISE DUE

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
JAPANESE “SOFT POWER” IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

An illustrated overview consideration of aspects of current Japanese popular culture as examples of Joseph Nye’s “soft power” at work in the contemporary international context.

Friday, April 1, 2005
MANIFESTATIONS OF AMERICAN “SOFT POWER" IN CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE POPULAR CULTURE

A video entitled "The Japanese Version" explores how aspects of American culture are integrated into contemporary Japanese life and serves as an example of the nature of (locally-transformed) American cultural "soft power" at work in modern Japanese life and culture.

reading assignment:

Joseph S. Nye, “Asia’s First Globalizer”, The Washington Quarterly, Autumn 2002. pp. 121 – 124.

WRITTEN SPECULATIONS ON AMERICAN INFLUENCES ON JAPAN DUE

Monday, April 4, 2005
ISSUES OF "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" IN CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE POPULAR CULTURE

A directed discussion of examples drawn from earlier considerations of Japanese “soft power” in the international context and "The Japanese Version" video as illustrations of the "power" and "authority" vested in popular culture in Japan today and in the relationship of “popular culture” in general to the larger global context.

reading assignment:

Douglas McGray, ''Japan's Gross National Cool,'' Foreign Policy, May 2002, pp. 44 - 55.

Keith Giles, "Nut in the Shell: Manga Nation", Slush Factory < http://www.slushfactory.com/ >, November 26, 2002.

WRITTEN SPECULATION ON "SOFT POWER" CROSS-CULTURAL INFLUENCES DUE

Wednesday, April 6, 2005
WILD IRISES AND THE EIGHT- FOLD BRIDGE

An illustrated exploration of the depiction of irises and wooden plank bridges in literature, poetry, garden design, fashion and art as an introduction to a consideration of the role of allusion and metaphor in traditional Japan as sources of “power” and “authority” influencing manifestations of culture in all these various areas of aesthetic expression.

web assignment:

Some Moonviewing Poetry: An Introduction to Japanese Aesthetics

WRITTEN COMMENTS ON TRADITIONAL JAPANESE AESTHETICS DUE

Friday, April 8, 2005
TRADITIONAL SOURCES OF "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" IN JAPANESE CULTURE I

Using the written results of a completed web assignment as the basis for our conversation, we will discuss how the realities behind this exercise demonstrate the "soft power" and "authority" vested in cultural tradition even in contemporary Japanese social and cultural life.

web assignment:  

Thinking About 'Meaning' in Traditional Japanese Art 

IN-CLASS EXERCISE DUE

Monday, April 11, 2005
TRADITIONAL SOURCES OF "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" IN JAPANESE CULTURE II

A further examination of the ways in which traditional sources of cultural "power" and "authority" influence the reading of Japanese poetry.

reading assignment:

Haruo Shirane's "Lyricism and Intertextuality: An Approach to Shunzei's Poetics", Chapter Four in Charles Wei-Hsun Fu and Steven Heine, editors, Japan in Traditional and Postmodern Perspectives (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995), pages 81 - 94.

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF FUJIWARA NO SHUNZEI'S POETIC DEPTH DUE

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
SOURCES OF CULTURAL "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" IN THE TALE OF GENJI I

The first in a three - part consideration of the exercise of "power" and "authority" in Japanese culture through the force and influence associated with a single work of literature, Murasaki Shikibu's eleventh century novel The Tale of Genji.

reading assignment:

AN ANALYSIS OF ARISTOCRATIC CULTURAL STANDARDS AND TRADITIONS DUE

Friday, April 15, 2005
SOURCES OF CULTURAL "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" IN THE TALE OF GENJI II

Continuing our exploration of the ongoing influence exerted by The Tale of Genji through the ages and how this source of "cultural legitimacy" has been transformed to reflect changing values and cultural influences at work over the centuries.

reading assignment:

web resources:

The Illustrated Handscroll of The Tale of Genji: one can gain a visual impression of the time period by looking closely at surviving sections of text and painting from the oldest extant illustrated example of the Tale of Genji text, a set of early twelfth century scrolls on display at the Tokugawa Museum in Nagoya, Japan. Pictures from the scroll can be found in Exhibition Room 6 of the Permanent Exhibitions section of the museum's web site.

The Columbia University's online exploration of The Tale of Genji in it's Asia for Educators section contains a plot summary of the "Evening Faces" chapter from the novel (under the Class Materials section) and offers some interesting interpretive insights. Other portions of the web site are worth exploring as well; they include a general video introduction to both the novel and the times in which it appeared plus other useful overview materials. Look on the Asia for Educators site under MULTIMEDIA UNITS > JAPAN: CLASSICAL JAPAN > THE TALE OF GENJI > LITERARY SALONS AT THE HEIAN COURT to start.

Liza Dalby, an anthroplogist fascinated by The Tale of Genji and Murasaki Shikibu, its author, has written a novel herself -- The Tale of Murasaki. Her web site promoting the publication of her own fictional take on the author's life includes an extensive series of pages, full of fascinating detail, devoted to explorations of the aristocratic era culture which the novel portrays in such detail.

The Digital Library at the University of Pennsylvania, in its section devoted to the Celebration of Woemn Writers, includes an extended selection from Murasaki Shikibu's diary taken from Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan (translated by Annie Shepley Omori and Kochi Doi, with an introduction by Amy Lowell. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1920, pp. 69-145). The selection includes some illustrations worth viewing.

RESPONSES TO IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT DUE

Monday, April 18, 2005
MITATE IN PRACTICE

Discussion of various other examples of allusion, metaphor and motif at work in Japanese society as a reflection of traditional sources of cultural power and authority.

web assignment:  POWER AND AUTHORITY IN

Japanese Popular Culture -- the Traditional in the Modern

[Click on the web assignment title above to be taken to a review exercise covering portions of the material already presented in class; the exercise should take approximately one hour to complete.]

READING and INTERNET ART EXHIBIT:

Isamu Kurita, "Japanese Art and the Japanese View of Nature", an essay prepared as part of the exhibition SETSUGEKKA, "Snow, Moon and Flowers: The Japanese View of Nature" at the MOA Museum of Art in Hakone, Japan

[Click on the reading title above, read the article, then view at least some of the art work featured in the accompanying exhibit.  Be prepared to share your insights with your classmates during our class discussion.]

web resources:

Richard Amero's article, "An Evaluation of the Tale of Genji", investigates the impact, potential and real, of Murasaki Shikibu's novel on the international cultural scene beyond Japan.

DISCUSSION OF THE TALE OF GENJI AS CULTURAL AUTHORITY DUE

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
THE EXERCISE OF "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" IN THE WORLD OF THE CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE ARTS

Taking a closer look at the way in which a modern woodblock print artist and a modern poet combine influences drawn from the past with contemporary issues and influences to produce works of art both provocative and controversial, illustrations of the exercise of the "authority" invested in tradition within a contemporary setting.
 
reading assignment: 

"Morning Necktie" and "Afterword" from Machi Tawara's Salad Anniversary (New York: Kodansha International, 1989), pages 47 - 52

web assignment:  POWER AND AUTHORITY IN

Contemporary Manifestations of Japanese Popular Culture 

[Click on the web assignment title above to be taken to an exercise.]

MODERNIZATION AND WESTERNIZATION MEET TRADITION COMMENTS DUE

Friday, April 22, 2005
THE FUTURE OF "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" IN JAPANESE CULTURE: THE POSTMODERN ALTERNATIVE

An examination of the concept of the "postmodern" as a cultural construct with examples drawn from the Japanese experience.

SPECULATIONS ON THE CONCEPT OF THE POSTMODERN DUE

Monday, April 25, 2005
EXPLORATIONS OF THE POSTMODERN IN CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE POPULAR CULTURE

Examples drawn from the world of Japanese animation (anime) and popular music videos provide evidence of the persuasive presence of the "postmodern" in numerous arenas of today's popular culture in Japan.

reading assignment:
  
Lee A. Makela, "The Postmodern in Japanese Popular Culture and the Film World of Shunji Iwai" (unpublished manuscript), pages 1 - 13.

DISCUSSION ON CONCEPTUAL CHANGES IN PERSONAL DEFINITION OF THE POSTMODERN DUE

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN TRADITION AND ITS REJECTION IN THE JAPANESE POSTMODERN WORLD

A discussion of the subtle interactions between maintained elements of traditional cultural "power" and "authority" and the rejection thereof in the playgrounds of Japanese postmodern popular culture.

ESSAY ASSIGNMENT TWO DUE

Friday, April 29, 2005
"SOFT POWER" AND JAPAN'S PLACE IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD

 

Monday, May 2, 2005
THE UNITED STATES, CHINA, JAPAN AND THEIR SOURCES OF "SOFT POWER"

reading assignment:

Nye, Soft Power, Chapter Two: Sources of American Soft Power, pp. 33 - 72.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005
"SOFT POWER" AS CULTURAL INFLUENCE AND FOREIGN POLICY ATTRIBUTE

reading assignment:

Nye, Soft Power, Chapter Five: Soft Power and American Foreign Policy, pp. 127 - 148.

Friday, May 6, 2005
DISCUSSION: "POWER" AND "AUTHORITY" IN EAST ASIA AND THE UNITED STATES

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
COURSE EVALUATION SESSION