Modern Japan: Images and Words

Apr 2019

This class is awesome! It does, however, take a specific type of person to really appreciate and grasp what this course and Prof. Pflugfelder has to offer. Interestingly, Prof. Pflugfelder will not often lecture about historical events, but rather sociocultural phenomenon relating to historical events. He is very clearly knowledgable in the study of visual art and interpretation and always provides interesting content when presenting. The majority of the class is project-based learning. You are expected to have completed all the reading before coming into class and hearing a presentation from your classmates on the material that you have read. Every class will begin with a 10-minute quiz on the reading with only five questions. If have done the reading thoroughly you will never have a problem getting 5/5 on each quiz, if skimmed, you may still succeed but are bound to have a point off here and there. These quizzes are really only meant to boost your grade for doing the reading. After this the Prof. will present the topics that you have to choose from for your next presentation to the class for about 20-30 minutes, giving a small introduction to each prompt. All of the presentation topics have to do with visual analysis, which I believe truly gives another layer of depth to the historical events taking place at the time. Prof. Pflugfelder is truly interested in the topics he asks his students to present on and will always provide the necessary help to execute successfully. This type of attitude trickled down and students prepared diligently for their presentations, hoping to engage the class and present something of relevance. I would highly recommend this course to those who are interesting in alternative modes of learning, self-motivated learning and research, and visual analysis (high/low art, media etc.)