Japanese Studies Courses

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
JS532 Japanese History The nineteenth century connects the world by empire, law, commerce, war, and the exchange of ideas. The course examines some of these ideas and ways of life in Japan. It considers the pivotal events from the vantage point of transnational history. Gramlich-Oka
JS533 Modern Japanese History Overview over the history of regional integration in East Asia and theories of East Asian solidarity. We will read primary sources from writers embracing or criticizing the idea of an “East Asian world” or “pan-Asian unity” and discuss these readings in class. East Asian integration will be analyzed from a comparative viewpoint, taking into consideration historical parallels as well as differences with regional integration in other areas, particularly Europe and the Americas. Saaler
JS541 Japanese Ethnography This is a fieldwork-based class with readings on the creation, use, control and transgression of urban space and culture, using Tokyo as our “fieldsite.” Students will use the theoretical and ethnographic readings as jumping off points to generate their own research questions and finally their own field project and digital final project. Slater
JS542 Popular Culture ********** Syllabus will be uploaded later ********** Nozawa
JS543 Urban Space Studies The course aims to introduce what is arguably the most complex product of society and Japanese society in particular — the city, and to concentrate on the city of Tokyo. Our study will encompass a range of issues concerning the city, and the complex consequences of urban developments under modern and contemporary conditions. We will observe how the city has defined, and was in itself defined by, a particular reality at a particular time, beginning in Edo period and concluding in the present. Such approach emphasizes a need to examine the external relations of the city with context, and particularly relate to its social, cultural and political circumstances. Thus, we will look at the creation and recreation of the city’s physical texture, at architecture, urban landscape, infrastructure and technology, and at the same time observe the city as a social product determined by everyday life and habitual practices, organization of the immediate surrounding, personal rites and the micro-politics of life in the city. In the same manner, we will look at buildings and neighborhoods per-se, as a material construct guided by geometry and legal code, but at the same time recognize how the pragmatics of this built environment interrelate with cultural systems such as literature and film, and thus examine the mechanisms that relate the city to culture. Also, we will see how the city is not merely a reflection or expression of politics, but rather an intricate political apparatus in and of itself, influencing relationships and encouraging change. There are two consecutive class sessions every week. Usually, there will be a lecture at the first session, and the second lecture period will be used for class discussions, screening of films and videos, visiting lectures, or field trips. In taking the classroom outside the campus, we will use the benefit of the Tokyo locality to be in and see the subjects of our study. These activities are equally important to the class lectures, and should be used to further practice critical thinking and develop skills for analyzing the built city. The course has no prerequisites. Besides an interest in the course’s subjects, students are not required to have any prior knowledge of Tokyo, architecture, art and/or other discipline of urban studies. Golani-Solomon
JS545 Topics in Japanese Buddhism ************** Not offered in 2018 ******************* Globalization is affecting Tokyo and the major cities of Japan. The passage from internationalization to globalization generates a new set of questions. In this course, we will consider how Buddhist teachings and practices can shed some light on those questions. Topics to be addressed include the impacts of globalization on Japanese society in general and on Buddhist traditions in particular, the state of Buddhist scholarship in contemporary Japan, and the role of Buddhism in Japanese society. The course will use classical and contemporary Buddhist sources. Students will be expected to make regular seminar presentations and to prepare a final research paper. This year the course will focus on altered state of consciousness in the context of religious practice. Roboüam
JS546(Fall) Introduction to Japanese Studies (offered in Fall semester) This is a compulsory two-credit course for all first-semester degree M.A. students in Japanese Studies. The course provides a basic overview of how to research, from the process of selecting a topic and gathering sources to the process of writing results. The course also trains students for critically reading secondary sources. Continuing degree students who have not previously taken this course may enroll, with permission from the Instructor. Roboüam
JS546(Spring) Introduction to Japanese Studies (offered in spring semester) This is a compulsory two-credit course for all first-semester degree M.A. students in Japanese Studies. The course provides a basic overview of how to research, from the process of selecting a topic and gathering sources to the process of writing results. The course also trains students for critically reading secondary sources. Continuing degree students who have not previously taken this course may enroll, with permission from the Instructor. Roboüam