Queer Cinema Forum 2024

Course Type: Seminar
Study Focus: VMC
Term: Spring

Teacher: Mitsuyo WADA-MARCIANO

Course Code: JK36001

The 2024 Transcultural Cinema Forum will focus on queer cinema and examine the boundaries that create many of the dichotomies depicted in cinema, such as heterosexual/homosexual, gay/lesbian, male/female, normal/abnormal, common sense/uncommon sense, Japan/other regions.

The word “queer” is generally regarded as a pejorative term that has the potential to hurt others, but at the same time it is a powerful keyword that can shake up our own notions of normality. By situating “queer” and/or “queerness” at the center of our discussion, this course will examine the possibilities and limitations in our societies.

Through Queer Cinema Forum 2024, we will not only learn about the blurring of “boundaries,” the narrative of imagination and its instability, but also consider the universal questions and doubts that abound in our everyday lives. Why do we discriminate against each other? What is the purpose of our lives when we know we will eventually die? What does it mean to be happy? What must we do to improve society? Through the discussion of queer cinema, we will expand our thinking toward fundamental questions of identity formation.

Since this course is taught in two consecutive classes, the entire course length is three hours long. Therefore, the entire course is 9 weeks instead of 15 weeks. During this period, 7 guest speakers from Japan and abroad will be invited to share their thoughts from their respective fields of expertise, and at the same time, discussions with all participants are planned during the Q&A session after the screenings. 7 speakers are specialized in various fields: scholars in film studies and other academic fields, film directors, advocates of
gender identities etc., all of whom are interested in queer identities from a variety of perspectives.

Course Information

Module: Introduction to Transcultural Studies
CATS Requirements: MA 1st year or above

Day/Period: Tue/4-5
Location: Lec. 9
Credits: 2

How To Get the Most Out of This Course:

  1. Do your readings before coming to class. Use a highlighter or pen to make notes when you read. Develop a strategy for note-taking. Don’t let tough sections get you bogged down. Skim if necessary and then go back and read them more thoroughly later. Re-read.
  2. Bring your reading materials for the week to class.
  3. Keep this course syllabus with you through the semester. It contains valuable information and lets you know what we are doing, and when.
  4. Attend all screenings and lectures.

Course Goals

This course is designed for all students who are interested in screen culture in Japan, East Asia, and other areas. Attending lectures, which will be held on Tuesdays, is mandatory in order to discuss both (1) films and (2) reading assignments during the classes. Therefore, all students must come to class after reading assigned for each weeks.

Course Schedule and Evaluation

For a detailed course schedule, please visit KULASIS.

Course Requirements:
Attendance and Active Participation 20%
Short Essay Assignment 20%
Presentation on your final essay topic 20%
Final Essay 40%

  1. level of thesis (focused, connected with any specific discourse related with our discussions in class,
    interesting ideas, etc.)
  2. adequate supports (quality of research on the topic, awareness of the existing literature, etc.)
  3. organization of presentation
    Final Essay 40%
    You will write your final essay based on your presentation. 15 pages in length is maximum (1.5 space; font
    11), and its due date is on June 18th (Tuesday) by noon. Print out and submit your essay in my mail box. No
    late papers will be accepted.