Material and information about Miyazaki, Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, and anime for the Spring 1999 A&H 3300 class "Natural Wonders" at the University of Texas at Dallas
Pam Gossin and Marc HairstonIn the spring of 1999, Dr. Pam Gossin taught a literature course entitled Natural Wonders here at the University of Texas at Dallas.The course looked at the writings of naturalists, scientists, novelists, and poets to examine what we mean by the term "the natural world" and how these different writers viewed it. Follow this link to see the full
syllabus for the course. Because of this theme, Dr. Gossin decided that Miyazaki's epic
manga and film
Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind fit perfectly with her class,
so she made it the centerpiece of the semester-long study with Dr. Hairston
functioning as a guest instructor for that portion of the class. Each section
of the class met for 2 hours and 45 minutes once a week for 14 weeks and we
devoted two and a half of the 14 classes just to Nausicaa. The first
volume of the Nausicaa Perfect Collection was required reading, the class
watched the film version, and about two-thirds of the students ended up chosing
Nausicaa as their topic for their final research paper in the class. As
near as we have been able to determine, we were the first mainstream literature
course in a US college (and the second US college course overall) to ever use
Nausicaa as a required text for the course. (The first course to ever use
the Nausicaa as a required text was a student-led course about anime in
spring 1998 at Western Washington University led by Michael Arnold, one of the
members of the
Miyazaki mailing list.) (Nausicaa has been used frequently in college
courses in Japan, of course.)
The Nausicaa section of the course went
Week 1: Lecture by Dr. Hairston--Introduction to manga, anime, and
Miyazaki; class discussion of the Nausicaa manga.
2: Watched the film version of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind in
class; followed that with a short discussion and lecture about how the manga
ultimately ends in a very different fashion than the movie.
3: A short coda of about 15 minutes at the beginning of class of the
material we didn't have time for in week 2. We watched Miyazaki's short (7
minute) music video On Your Mark and discussed the themes in there and
how it related to Nausicaa.
Click here for
the student papers
from the class.
Marc did for the October 1999 issue of the webzine Anime Craze. Note that
Anime Craze is now a defunct webzine, but thanks for Mike Kang and Gemma
Hiranuma of Anime Craze (and Planet
Anime!) we now have the original webpage here on my site.
Essay Marc wrote about the course
that was published in the December 1999 (Vol. 7, number 12) issue of Animerica
If you have
any questions or comments about this site or our course, please feel free to send
us email. Pam can be reached at
psgossin at zoom1.telepath.com and
Marc can be reached at
hairston at utdallas.edu
Update: Dr. Gossin
and I will be reteaching this course during the
spring 2000 semester, and this time we will be hosting Dr. Susan Napier from the
Asian Studies Program at University of Texas at Austin for a guest lecture about
the course announcement and syllabus.
March 2000: Dr. Susan
Napier of UT-Austin will be giving a public talk about "the images of females in
anime" and later speaking to the AH 3300 class on Wednesday March 29th, 2000.
For more information about times and locations, please see
the invitation we prepared for another UTD class.
Guests from outside the UTD community are welcome to attend both talks and the
showing of Nausicaa the following week. For questions or further
information, please contact Marc by email or at 972-883-
Fall 2001 Dr. Gossin and I will be teaching AH 1301, a
freshman introduction to humanities course this coming spring semester here at UT
Dallas. This will be a class of about 150 freshmen and we will once again be
reading and viewing Nausicaaas well as viewing
Princess Mononoke and
Click on Totoro for the story of the Totoro
mugshot in the December 1999 issue of Animerica.
January 2000; moved and links updated
December 2007. Please note that this webpage has a new url: