Discovering Friendship in Japanese Pop Culture, Cinema, and Text: A Cross-Cultural Inquiry
Friendship can be understood as the human need to appreciate and be appreciated by another person. At first glance, it seems a natural and unproblematic part of life. But, when dealing with friendship across cultures or species, or between humans and robots, the concept of friendship becomes surprisingly complex. Drawing on representations of friendship in Japanese anime, manga, cinema, and literary text, this seminar will explore themes such as friendship's universality versus cultural specificity, its relationship to romance, and the impact of age, status, gender, and ethnicity on configurations of friendship. Students will have many opportunities to draw on and share their own knowledge of friendship in this cross-cultural inquiry.