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Exploring East Asian Visual Culture (July 29 – August 2, 2024)

Session(s) date

Session(s) date: 
Monday, July 29, 2024 - 9:30am to Friday, August 2, 2024 - 12:30pm
Embark on a captivating journey through the rich tapestry of East Asian visual arts in this illuminating seminar. Delve into the captivating blend of tradition and innovation, spanning from ancient origins to contemporary expressions. Discover the pulse of urban culture and contemporary art flourishing in East Asian metropolises, while unraveling the profound impact of film, manga, and multimedia on societal narratives. Through this exploration, gain deeper insights into the complexities of modern East Asian societies, underscored by the enduring relevance and unique contributions of East Asian aesthetics to our global cultural landscape.

Moving through the vibrant landscape of East Asian visual arts, this seminar will explore the dynamic interplay of tradition and innovation from ancient times to present. Participants will learn more about comteporary art and urban culture in predominant East Asian cities. Beyond that, this seminar will also examine the explosive growth of film, manga, and other media means, which are not only popular cultural exports but also critical lenses through which the complexities of modern East Asian societies can be understood. This exploration of East Asia throught its aesthetics will underscore the enduring relevance of East Asian culture in our increasingly globalized world, offering insights into its unique contributions to the global cultural development.
The five-day seminar (July 29 – August 2, 2024) includes:
  • video presentations 
  • readings
  • mandatory online forum participation
  • Q&A sessions
  • office hours


  • 6 USC Rossier School of Education Continuing Education Units (processing fee covered by the US-China Institute)
  • Certificate of completion 
  • Resources and materials

*Must complete seminar requirements


Profile Photo of Kendall Brown - School of Art - California State University Long BeachProfessor Kendall Brown is a distinguished Professor of Asian Art History at California State University Long Beach. With a doctoral degree from Yale University and a Master's from UC Berkeley, his scholarly contributions enrich the field of Japanese art. A co-founder and past president of the North American Japanese Garden Association, Dr. Brown is also a prolific writer. He has authored three books and numerous articles that delve into the design, political implications, and cultural history of Japanese gardens in America. His latest project involves curating an exhibition on Japanese sheet music cover illustration for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which promises to offer unique insights into this visually rich and historically significant art form.


Professor Jenny Lin Jenny Lin is the Director of the MA Program in Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere and an Associate Professor of Critical Studies at USC’s Roski School of Art and Design. Her first book, Above Sea: Contemporary Art, Urban Culture, and the Fashioning of Global Shanghai (2019), examines the cultural fabric of cosmopolitan Shanghai through art, architecture, fashion, and film. Her extensive writings cover topics like contemporary Asian and Asian American art, public art, and design, appearing in journals and anthologies globally. Lin's research is supported by prestigious grants and she frequently lectures internationally, including recent engagements at the National Gallery of Art and the University of Oxford. Lin holds an MA and PhD in Art History from UCLA, and a BA in Architectural Studies and Italian Studies from Brown University.


Professor Suk-Young Kim is an interdisciplinary scholar with doctoral degrees in Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama (Northwestern University, 2005) and Slavic Language and Literature (Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, 2001). Her work primarily focuses on body politics, transmedia, entertainment industry, and the historical roots of today’s popular culture. She finds writing inspirations in odd anachronisms and illuminating beauty found in dusty archives, live stages, and today’s vertiginous screen cultures.



Professor Stanley Rosen, a political science expert in Chinese politics and society, has extensive experience with mainland China, having visited approximately 65 times over 37 years. He taught at USC's University Residential College at Bimkrant from 2011-2017, focusing on courses ranging from Chinese politics and film to comparative politics. Rosen is also the author/editor of eight books and numerous articles covering topics such as the Cultural Revolution, Chinese legal system, public opinion, gender, human rights, and Sino-American relations.



Eike Exner headshot | Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum BlogEike Exner is a historian of graphic narrative, writing primarily on 19th and early 20th century multi-panel cartooning and comic strips in East Asia, Europe, and North America. His first book Comics and the Origins of Manga documents the popularity of American and other foreign comic strips in Japan between 1923 and 1945, and how Japanese artists created modern manga based on these comic strips. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of manga.
Seminar Schedule

Reading assignments and pre-recorded lectures for each week will be available in an online forum and are to be completed prior to the discussion sessions. Access and log-in information will be provided upon acceptance into the course. Please refer to the Seminar Requirements Document for details on assignments and course completion.

Online discussions (via Zoom) will be each everyday from 10:00am – 12:00 pm and there will be the orientation and conclusion sessions on the first day.

Session Date Topics

Mon 7/29

9:30am – 10:00am (Orientation)

10:00am – 12:00pm 

  • Ken Brown: Visualizing Music In Modern Japan: Popular Song, Film, Sheet Music and Mass Culture 

Tue 7/30

10:00am – 12:00pm

  • Jenny Lin: Contemporary Art, Urban Culture, and the Fashioning of Global Shanghai 

Wed 7/31

10:00am – 12:00pm

  • Suk-Young Kim: Cell Phones and Forbidden Media in North Korea

Th 8/1

10:00am – 12:00pm

  • Stanley Rosen: Post-1949 Chinese cinema

Fri 8/2

9:30am – 11:30pm 
11:30pm – 12:00pm (Conclusion)
  • Eike Exner: Comics and the Origins of Manga

How to apply - Submit your application below. Please add to your address book so the email does not end up in the spam folder. 

This program is sponsored by the USC U.S.-China Institute and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.


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