New Upcoming Course: ANTH 487 Okinawa and Its Diaspora

A brand new course is being offered by the UHM Department of Anthropology during the Fall 2012 semester.  ANTH 487 Okinawa and Its Diaspora will be taught by Dr. Christine Yano.

Here’s an excerpt from the course description:

Anth 487 Okinawa and Its Diaspora (Writing intensive)

Okinawa constitutes a separate but related culture and history within the nation-state of Japan. One of the distinctive features of Okinawa is the degree to which large numbers of its population have emigrated to distant lands, making new homes, while keeping ties to the homeland.  The strong ties of Okinawa’s diaspora have helped foster a sense of identity that is simultaneously Okinawan (link to homeland) and immigrant settler (link to new home).  With generations of these social processes, the ties to and from Okinawa have evolved into new configurations of identity.  This course aims to explore these configurations.

“Champuru” (“something mixed”) is a popular Okinawan dish similar to a stir fry.  Champuru is also used to refer to cultural aspects of Okinawa that emphasizes mixings and hybridity. Historically, Okinawa has developed its character of champuru through political, economic, and cultural interactions transnationally amid uneven relations of power and conflict.  This course examines the relationship between Okinawan and its diaspora through a champuru sense of identity.  What role do culture, politics, and history play in shaping Okinawan identity?  How have different transnational contexts shaped the champuru Okinawan culture(s) and their representations in the homeland and abroad?

•    to better understand forces that have shaped the history and culture
of Okinawa
•    to examine Okinawan emigration and its implications for the
development of Okinawan diaspora and identity
•    to apply theories to critically analyze the processes of identity
•    to provide analytical frameworks to examine diasporic populations

Required Texts:
•    Chinen, Joyce N. and Kiyoshi Ikeda, ed. 2008.
Uchinaanchu Diaspora: Memories, Continuities, and Constructions
Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press