East Asian Media

2019 ~ Present


This is a bi-monthly seminar group that will be run like a Japanese “zemi,” or graduate seminar. Students will be asked to produce a research project or creative project on a topic related to East Asian media, broadly defined. This could be a translation of a Chinese short story, an analysis of Japanese films, a short documentary on social movements in Okinawa, etc. Transnational/comparative projects are welcome. Twice a month we will also meet to discuss assigned readings and to discuss project progress. At the end of each semester we will host an East Asian Media @ Tech Symposium to present our projects to the wider community.

Each year we will focus on a different theme related to East Asian media. 2019-2020 will be “East Asia and the Future.” Our readings will discuss how Chinese, Japanese, and Korean speculative literature and film articulate fears, anxieties, dreams, and desires about the future of the Pacific region. Student projects are encouraged but not required to connect to this theme.


  1. To foster transnational and interdisciplinary research of East Asian media at Tech
  2. To make concrete and visible contributions to the study of East Asian media in the form of research projects, videos, online portfolios, databases, websites, podcasts, public presentations, etc.

Issues Involved or Addressed

2019-2020 Theme: “East Asia and the Future”:

1) “Techno-Orientalism” describes how American media uses Asian technologies, culture, and bodies to represent the future in films like Blade Runner. How—and why—is Asia linked to futuristic landscapes, costumes, and technologies in the Western imaginary?

2) Is there such a thing as “Techno-Occidentalism”? How does East Asian SF represent the West, and particularly America?

3) How do East Asian authors and filmmakers envision their own future? What are the differences from country to country?

4) With the arrival of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, how has Japanese discourse on the future changed? Is there any overlap with the media discourse that surrounded the 2008 Beijing Olympics?

Methods and Technologies

  • Content Analysis
  • Rhetorical Analysis
  • Audience Analysis
  • Ethnography
  • Interviews
  • Translation
  • Media Production
  • Surveys
  • Audio

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies
  • Digital Media
  • Global Economics and Modern Languages
  • History, Technology, and Society

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Background or interest in media studies, literature, journalism, media production, cultural studies, and/or art history recommended.

Intermediate to high proficiency in East Asian language (Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, etc.) required. Class will be in English but student project must be conducted in the target language. Please contact the VIP instructor for more information.

Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Swann 314
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

Dr. Amanda Weiss