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August 22, 2019

Totoro Saves the World

What do a geologist and a Japanese literature scholar have in common? Quite a bit, it turns out. 

Since 2015, after discovering they were both interested in teaching a class about Miyazaki Hayao films, Jim Rougvie and Susan Furukawa have taught several classes together, including “Totoro Saves the World,” a course that explores how the intersections of culture, folklore, and physical landscapes influence concepts of nature and environmental sustainability through the films and writings of Miyazaki. The course is a part of the Luce-funded Landscapes in Transition program, which has provided Beloit students exciting opportunities to do field research in rural China and Japan.

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