KSS2022 セミナー



Exploring the Identities of Hafu and Hapa


Studying the identities of Hāfu (ハーフ) and Hapa gives insight into how society discriminates against mixed Asians within the context of the U.S. and Japan. Students in this course will study the origin of Hāfu and Hapa stereotypes, why they exist, and how this impacts identity formation. Navigating identity presents a challenge for many mixed people since how the media perceives them often conflicts with how they identify. For instance, Naomi Osaka received criticism for choosing to represent Japan as a tennis player due to her racial ambiguity. 


In this seminar, you will learn about terms like Hāfu and Hapa through learning the history behind each term and analyzing real-life examples of how mixed Asians navigate identity. Discussions of films, magazine articles, and other materials will be used to study Hāfu and Hapa’s points of view, giving students the opportunity to rethink what it means to be Asian.








Sports and Globalization


Sports have become a medium for political activism, asylum-seekers, and commonality between cultures. For example, baseball, known as America’s sport, has been passed to countries in the Caribbean and East Asia. Cricket, brought to South Asia by the British, is played second only to football. Formula 1 has used Netflix to gain American viewership through its documentary “Drive to Survive”. Our globalizing world has influenced everything we see today, especially sports. 


In our seminar, we will delve into specific examples of sports in their greater context, such as the links between football and politics, “America’s pastime”, and the wide-spread use of social media by players and fans. In the summer leading up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where 32 different fans, sets of players, and cultures descend onto Qatar, we will look into a deeper side of sports that you may not have realized existed.


スポーツを通して、我々は政治活動や、亡命者、文化間の共通性など様々な事象を垣間見ることができます。例えば、アメリカのスポーツとして知られる野球はカリブ海や東アジアの国々に伝わっていますし、イギリス人が南アジアに持ち込んだクリケットは今やサッカーに次いでプレーされているスポーツです。また、世界的な自動車レースとして名高いF1は、Netflixを使ってドキュメンタリー映画「Drive to Survive」を制作し、アメリカでの視聴者を獲得しています。 このように、昨今のグローバル化の波は、他の様々な分野でみられるように、スポーツにもまた大きな影響をもたらしてきました。


このセミナーでは、サッカーと政治の関係、野球などの所謂「アメリカの娯楽」の広がりや受容、そして選手やファンの間でのSNSの普及などの具体例を交えながら、スポーツを単なる競技としてだけでなく、より多角的な視点から掘り下げていきます。 ところで皆さんは2022年が、サッカーFIFAワールドカップがカタールで開催される年なのをご存知ですか?ワールドカップは、32の異なる国と地域から、ファン、選手、文化が一堂に会するイベントです。そんな4年に1度の大会を控えたこの夏、皆さんも意外と知られていないスポーツのグローバル化された深い側面を覗いてみませんか?





A False Reality: The Weird Implications of Relativity and Quantum Physics


What are the first words that come to your mind when you hear the word “astrophysics?” Maybe it’s Albert Einstein, black holes, quantum physics, or even space travel. I’d bet, however, that the first words that came to your mind were not simple or accessible. With extremely complex math requiring a large foundation of knowledge to even begin to understand, astrophysics can seem unapproachable at times. And so, many people don’t get the opportunity to go beyond its basics and delve into the important and weird ideas about the universe hidden within all of the math. 


This seminar will offer a deeper dive into those oddities of modern astrophysics, specifically relativity and quantum mechanics. It will focus more on the ideas and implications, rather than the math itself. Instead of just learning how to perform calculations, this seminar is meant to make you rethink and question the way you view the world – to make you realize that what is much more important than what we know is what we don’t know.


“宇宙物理学 “という言葉を聞いて、最初に思い浮かぶのはどんな言葉でしょうか。アインシュタイン、ブラックホール、量子物理学、または宇宙旅行かもしれません。しかし、最初に思い浮かべた言葉は、シンプルでわかりやすいものではなかったでしょう。宇宙物理学は非常に複雑な数学で、理解するのに多くの基礎知識を必要とするため、近寄りがたいと思われがちです。そのため、多くの人がその基礎を超えて、数学の中に隠された宇宙に関する重要かつ奇妙な考えを掘り下げる機会を逃しているのです。






Anatomy and the Arts


What do language, criminology, and anime all have in common? What about fashion design, video games, and sports equipment? It may seem unlikely, but all of these subjects have their roots in anatomy. Anatomy is the study of what makes up the human body. It is used to enhance expertise in diverse fields like sketching characters for anime, or in designing clothes and sportswear. 


This seminar aims to introduce a general understanding of anatomy and how it can be applied to many fields like anime, digital art, history, and even robotics. Through this, students will be able to practice examining a complex topic through a variety of lenses. By the end of this seminar, students will be able to recognize how anatomy has been utilized in different topics, making them more closely related than you might think. Together, we can discover how amazing anatomy can be!








Introductory Statistics: See the World in Data


The subject of statistics is fundamental to various academic fields. Statistical knowledge is applied when economists want to find out why countries like Japan are so successful in terms of their economic growth while other economies failed to perform as well. Data analysis skills are also needed in psychology to make inferences from the observations. Currently, professionals in the healthcare industry perform statistical analysis to reveal the prevalence of COVID-19 in a certain area so that proper actions can be taken. Therefore, statistics is a powerful tool no matter what major you pursue in college or what career you choose in the future. This seminar will be a general introduction to the knowledge of statistics, including descriptive statistics, statistical inferences, and (simple) linear regression analysis, etc. Programming Languages for statistical computing will be introduced to students to let them feel that the statistical tools can be used without calculating by hand.


This seminar is neither a coding course nor a math course. Although the seminar will have limited coverage of programming languages for data analysis and teach fundamental formulas used in statistics, its main goal is to enable students to have a sense of how statistics can be applied in different real-life scenarios rather than learning how to code or doing difficult calculations.





Breaking the Maya Code: An Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphics


For many centuries, Maya people wrote, inscribed, and painted in their native script. Maya civilization is known for their use of the number zero, their astronomical feats, and great ancient cities. However, this history was lost due to Spanish Colonization (1492–1832 CE), when the Spanish Empire brutally invaded and stole indigenous land. Spanish bishops burned almost all but four of their books and stripped the Maya people of their writing. For centuries to come, colonialism continued to replace native cultures with Spanish. After many centuries and attempts, scholars with help from the Maya locals have made major breakthroughs, allowing both Maya and non-Maya people to commemorate their achievements and learn about the past. In this seminar, students will engage in exercises and class discussion that emulate the process of decipherment. Such activities include deciphering Maya syllables through comparing Maya manuscripts with accounts from the colonial period. Another activity involves various spellings of a powerful king to decipher his name. 



If you are a student eager to engage in critical thinking or explore a different culture, this course is for you! By learning about the Maya writing system, we can challenge assumptions we make about writing such as its structure and its beauty. The use of primary sources in this course can teach the importance of interpreting these materials and hearing directly from the Maya people.



何世紀にもわたって、マヤの人々は独自の言語で書き、刻み、そうして絵を描きました。マヤ文明は数字の零、天文学の偉業、偉大の古都などで知られていますが、スペイン帝国が残酷に侵略し、マヤの土地を盗んだとき、この歴史はスペイン植民地化(1492–1832 CE)のせいでほぼ失われました。スペインの司教は、マヤの4冊以外の本を全て燃やし、マヤの著作を剥奪しました。何世紀にもわたって何度も試みられた後、学者はマヤの人々と協力して大きな進歩を遂げ、マヤと非マヤの両方の人々が業績を達成し、過去について学ぶことができるようになりました。このセミナーでは、解読のプロセスをエミュレートする演習とディスカッションに従事しています。例えば、マヤの写本と植民地時代の記述を比べることでマヤの音節を解読したり、マヤの王の名前を解読するために、様々な綴りを分析を試みます。







Get to Know Yourself! Personality Psychology


Do you find yourself daydreaming often? Are you impulsive? Has someone ever described you as an introvert or an extravert? These are just a few of many ways to describe one’s personality. Personality is a large umbrella term that consists of a person’s attributes and disposition that makes them stand apart from others. In this seminar, we will explore a few primary theories of personality in order to create a foundational understanding of different defined aspects of personality. In addition, one of these personality theories will be accompanied by a personality test, where after taking it, students will engage in a reflective discussion about one of their personality dimensions. 


The goal of this seminar is for students to learn how to describe oneself beyond simply kind or funny, and to understand the diversity between individuals. Students will also learn to appreciate the differences in approaches to studying what makes each human unique- their personality!


あなたは妄想するのが好きですか?衝動的な人ですか?他の人に内向的または社交的と言われたことがありますか? これらは人の個性を表す方法の一部でしかないのです。個性とは、他の人たちとの違いを生み出している人の特性や気質などの集合です。このセミナーでは、異なる複数の個性の基礎的な定義を構築するための理論について取り扱います。また、そのうちの一つの理論はパーソナリティーテストと関連しており、自分の性格の一面についてそのテスト結果を基にディスカッションします。







Foodways Across Borders


While everyone needs to eat to survive, food is something we form connections with and impacts our daily lives. Whether it’s a favorite recipe that’s been passed down in your family or going to a new fusion restaurant with friends, food is something we can always find significance in emotionally and in context with the world. In the globalized world we live in today, food moves with people across borders, carrying rich cultural significance and flavors. 


This seminar will look at the migration of people, culture and practices and how food is produced and consumed. By focusing on this, we gain the ability to connect with our plates in a thoughtful way and expose ourselves to elements of the world’s historical, social, economic and political relationships.This seminar aims to introduce these otherwise complicated concepts through familiar topics of food, creating connections to various subjects students can apply this knowledge to in future college courses.







Politics and its Social Influences: Comparing and Contrasting
Between Japan and America


How did the election of President Trump change the American public’s relationship with the federal government? How is this relationship between the prime minister and their people different in Japanese society? The candidates we vote for as the leaders of our countries determine how we and others live – whether people live in fear, whether LGBTQ rights are protected, whether abortions are a possibility. Starting out with the complex idea of American federalism, this course dives into the workings of government in the United States and its continuous impact on society. We will look at how the unique role of political parties in the United States complicates elections and adds fuel to social issues. Furthermore, we will explore the fundamental values of the political system in Japan, highlighting how these values create social issues.


Students will benefit from examining the connection between government and social struggles so they are more aware when making choices like voting. We will accomplish this by interpreting quotes from famous figures and having discussions about overarching themes; by the end of the course, students will gain sharp critical thinking skills from these analysis exercises that we do together.