Hi everyone! This is yours truly, Marc Kohlman, back with the latest in my series of posts on cool courses that the Stevenson English Department is currently offering. Today I’m giving you the scoop on Gerald Majer’s ENG 281 class “Anime in Text and Film.” Dr. Majer sat down to an interview with me to share some amazing information on why his class is such a terrific learning experience.
1. Why are you interested in teaching this class and what is so appealing about Anime in text and film?
“I came to Anime through work I was doing in cultural theory and Victorian Studies where issues of “animism” and “animation” are important ones for understanding the modern and postmodern. The powerful appeal of Anime is complex and people still are in the process of explaining it. It also overlaps current postmodern aesthetics that work on similar lines exploring the multiple and the virtual.”
2. Do you think this class will give students an exciting view of Anime and Literature?
“In both the films and the reading, we’re looking at the thematic side with a focus on Japanese issues of nation and history, along with closely related issues of social control and politics, family and gender, the body and apocalypse, and other good stuff. We’re also catching the technique aspect with concepts like the plastic line and the structural line, between Disney-style animation and Anime.”
3. What about this class do you think students will be amazed by?
“Films like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Neon Genesis Evangelion are pretty amazing to behold in themselves, sometimes almost exploding with motion and color. I hope that stepping back after the aesthetic dazzlement and thinking about some of the thematic, formal, and technique factors that make Anime meaningful as well as thrilling.”
4. How do you plan to introduce students to this topic and what would you like for them to learn and take away from it?
“I would like students to take away a deeper and smarter appreciation of Anime as art form and as an expression of Japan’s history and culture. And to get that much stronger in doing their own critical thinking about context, aesthetics, and technique in Anime works.”
This class certainly seems to be awesome! Special thanks to Dr. Majer for his time. This is Marc Kohlman signing off! I’ll be back with another cool course post you’re going to love. See you soon!