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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Undergraduate Course: Japanese Cyberpunk: Non-Western futuristic fantasy in popular visual genres (ASST10142)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis option course is designed to provide students with a wide-ranging knowledge of Japanese cyberpunk in contemporary visual genres such as anime and film.
Course description The course aims to create an awareness of the ways in which multi-modal forms of Japanese cyberpunk are evolved by media-mix of visual contents in the marketplace. Topics to be covered will include the relation between humanity and futuristic technology, the relationship between linguistic and multi-modal analysis, the relations between paper media and audiovisual media and interpretation, and post-apocalyptic visions of techno cityscape, race, music, and gender stereotypes. Occasional cyberpunk film viewing to be encouraged during the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x take-home exam essay of c. 3,000 words (70%)
1 x presentation based on primary source materials (20%)
Class participation (10%)
Feedback Verbal feedback throughout the course, based on class discussions. Also individual written feedback on presentation.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify main themes and issues associated with Japanese cyberpunk.
  2. Employ strong multimodal analysis skills to explore sociocultural, sociolinguistic, and dynamic narratives of popular visual genres across media.
  3. Understand the notion of multimodality and its relationship to the contemporary visual contents of science fiction, manga, anime, video game and film.
Reading List
Auger, E. (2013). Tech-noir Film: A Theory of the Development of Popular Genres. Bristol: University of Chicago Press.
Balsamo, A. M. (1996). Technologies of the gendered body : reading cyborg women. Durham: Duke University Press.
Bolton, C. (2007). Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime. Univ Of Minnesota Press.
Chalmers, D. (n.d.). The Matrix as Metaphysics. Retrieved 18 July 2015, from
Chatman, S. B. (1978). Story and discourse : narrative structure in fiction and film. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Chris Hables. Gray. (2002). Cyborg citizen : politics in the posthuman age. New York ; London: Routledge.
Donna Jeanne. Haraway. (1991). Simians, cyborgs and women : the reinvention of nature. London: Free Association.
Featherstone, M., & Burrows, R. (1995). Cyberspace/cyberbodies/cyberpunk : cultures of technological embodiment. London: Sage.
Hayles, K. (1999). How we became posthuman : virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics. Chicago ; London: University of Chicago Press.
Johnson, B. D. (2011). Science Fiction for Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction. San Rafael, Calif.: Morgan & Claypool Publishers.
Joseph. Schneider. (2005). Donna Haraway : live theory. London: Continuum. Napier, S. (2001). Animé from Akira to Princess Mononoke : experiencing contemporary Japanese animation. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Napier, S. (2005). Anime from Akira to Howl's moving castle : experiencing contemporary Japanese animation (Updated edition, [revised edition]..). New York ; Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Sato, K. (2004). How Information Technology Has (Not) Changed Feminism and Japanism: Cyperpunk in the Japanese Context. Comparative Literature Studies, 41(3), 335-355. Silvio, C. (1999). Refiguring the Radical Cyborg in Mamoru Oshii's "Ghost in the Shell", Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Mar., 1999), pp. 54-72. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Seed, D. (2005). A companion to science fiction. Malden, Mass: Blackwell Pub.
Steven T. Brown. (2010). Tokyo cyberpunk : posthumanism in Japanese visual culture (First edition..). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Teppo, M., & Rambo, C. (2013). Cyberpunk: Stories of Hardware, Software, Wetware, Evolution, and Revolution. Underland Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Visual and critical analysis techniques
- Independent research skills
- Presentation and communication skills
- Organisation and planning skills
- Communicate with peers, senior colleagues and specialists
KeywordsJapanese Cyberpunk,visual genres,multimodal discourse
Course organiserDr Yoko Sturt
Tel: (0131 6)50 4228
Course secretaryMr David Horn
Tel: (0131 6)50 4227
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