Japanese Studies Courses

JS501 Modern Japanese Visual Culture This seminar is going to focus on how the issue of gender plays out in various contemporary art practices in postwar Japanese and global contexts. The details will be announced at the beginning of the semester. Special attention will be paid to the works by female artists including Atsuko Tanaka, Yoko Ono, Yayoi Kusama. Hayashi
JS504 Japanese Art History ****** Syllabus will be uploaded later ******** staff
JS505 Modern Japanese Art History This course will study the manifold interactions that have taken place in the visual arts between Japan and the US since the second half of the 19th century to the present. We will approach art from a transcultural perspective, and will study various media including painting, prints, industrial design, architecture, as well as exhibitions and other modes of display. We will also investigate the role of visual arts in diplomatically and politically charged circumstances from Japan's resumption of trade with Western powers in the mid-19th-century, to the Pacific War, the Cold War, and to the age of globalization. **Due to unpredictable enrollment, the instructor reserves the right to modify the schedule of the course, depending upon enrollment, once the semester begins. Murai
JS508 Interpretations of Modernity 1 ***Interpretations of Modernity 1 and 2 must be taken together*** This course focuses on the moral vision in modern Japanese literature with regards to environmental issues and war responsibilities. We will read salient full-length novels, documentary, and short stories that deal with nuclear issues, environmental pollution, human experiments, and war responsibilities to address questions of moral vision in Japanese literature. What are our moral responsibilities as stewards of the environment we inhabit? What do we learn from past mistakes and efforts? What can literature do to help us understand the world we inhabit in relation to our lives? Yiu
JS509 Interpretations of Modernity 2 ******Interpretations of Modernity 1 and 2 must be taken together******* This course focuses on the moral vision in modern Japanese literature with regards to environmental issues and war responsibilities. We will read salient full-length novels, documentary, and short stories that deal with nuclear issues, environmental pollution, human experiments, and war responsibilities to address questions of moral vision in Japanese literature. What are our moral responsibilities as stewards of the environment we inhabit? What do we learn from past mistakes and efforts? What can literature do to help us understand the world we inhabit in relation to our lives? Yiu
JS510 Contemporary Japanese Literature Contemporary Japanese Literature, as the title suggests, is a course dealing with Japanese literary texts produced by writers who are living, or at least were living in the recent past. In historical terms, however, it might be considered a course in literature written in the post-postwar era, i.e., after 1970. In principle, our focus is on writing from the past four decades or so. Strecher
JS518 Comparative Literature 1 Comparative Literature 1 and 2 introduce students to selected issues in comparative literature. Comparative Literature 1, offered in the spring, focuses upon methodological and theoretical issues about a specific theme. All readings (primary and secondary) are available in English. This year, we will consider various theoretical approaches to narrative. In the first half of the course, students will read important theoretical texts in narratology, focusing on fundamental issues such as narrative situation, narrative time, and history and narrative. In the second half of the course, we will explore selected topics (based on the interests of students and the instructor). Possible topics include approaches to modern Japanese literature, comparative poetics; film as narrative; and cognitive narratology. While many of the theoretical texts are grounded in literary studies, students from other disciplines are also welcome, as the issues explored in the course should be relevant in other related fields. Kono
JS519 Comparative Literature 2 ********* Not offered in 2019 ******* Comparative Literature 1 and 2 introduce students to selected issues in comparative literature. Comparative Literature 2, offered in the autumn, focuses upon reading of selected primary and secondary texts related to reading Japanese literature in comparative perspective. All readings are available in English. This year, we will consider criticism (or hihyo) in modern Japan. We will examine the hihyo genre in modern Japan through reading of seminal critical texts and discussion on historical and literary contexts. We will also read some critical writing and social commentary by literary authors as well as fictional texts related to the problematics of hihyo. Topics of discussion include: the emergence and evolution of hihyō as a genre; literary writers and critics as “public intellectuals”; the writing style of hihyo; literary criticism and politics; and postmodernism in Japan. Kono
JS520 Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 1 This course is a graduate seminar in pre-modern Japanese literature. The content will be designed around the research needs of the students interested in taking the class. Past topics have included the following: general surveys of pre-modern Japanese literature; literary representations of gender and sexuality; warriors and warrior culture; imperial court poetry and prose. Please note that this is a 2-period class - roughly 3 hours every week. Students who register for Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 1 must also register for Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 2. Thompson
JS523 Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 2 This course is a graduate seminar in pre-modern Japanese literature. The content will be designed around the research needs of the students interested in taking the class. Past topics have included the following: general surveys of pre-modern Japanese literature; literary representations of gender and sexuality; warriors and warrior culture; imperial court poetry and prose. Please note that this is a 2-period class - roughly 3 hours every week. Students who register for Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 1 must also register for Pre-Modern Japanese Literature 2. Thompson