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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

A Survey of Body Symbolism
Achieving self-discovery through representative culture

Ms.Mana Isobe
3rd year Student at the School of Law

My motivation for enrolling in this course was that I wanted to participate in a class which allowed me to sharpen my sensitivity as a complement to the somewhat ideological and logical courses of the School of Law. I still had no understanding of concepts such as "representation" when I attended the first lecture. In that lecture, the Professor told us that during class time we students should remove information which had been installed in our brains until now. At the time, I was still not able to comprehend the meaning of the Professor's statement.

During lectures, students view a great number of images and videos through a PowerPoint presentation while listening to the Professor's lecture. Also, students familiarize themselves with the flow of the class through summaries of the beginning and end of class, and students submit simple summaries of that day's class content and impression through course navigation. During the lecture, the Professor explains contents in detail and responds to questions, making contents easy to digest even for a beginner like myself. Within the process of the class, students are made aware of how much we are made to live within representative culture. For example, students are made to realize that, in a broad sense, even the fashion which we perceive to be "beautiful" and "wonderful" is nothing more than a creation born through social and historical demands. Furthermore, when focusing on the process of a how men accept women as separate beings and identify women with themselves, it was refreshing to learn how Pygmalion mythology has led to the current Otaku culture. This was also the moment that I was made to realize the latent message of the representational culture that I had perceived as mere works of art and movies.

When this class is over, in order to once again live normally in society, we students return to our brains the common-sense information related to representation which we had removed for a temporary period of time. However, we have developed antibodies towards representation. In other words, we become conscious of representations that we had received unconsciously, and we attempt to search for the possibility of different interpretations of those representations. This consciousness fades as time passes and we begin to blend into the original world around us. However, this consciousness occasionally manifests itself suddenly to add richness and multiple dimensions to our lives.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)