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New Perspectives on Modern Japanese Literature
Kristina IWATA Associate Professor
|Class Time:||2015 Spring Monday|
|Recommended for:||G30 Program
School of Letters
3rd and 4th year undergraduate, graduate and NUPACE students
"Love" at first sight appears as an obvious concept, but in reality it has undergone radical changes over time and differs depending on the cultural context. This course explores representations of love, longing, and desire in modern Japanese culture and literature. Following a brief excursion to pre-modern understandings of love and tracing its translation into a modern, westernized notion, we ask how love has been conceptualized in relation to sexuality, gender, marriage, and the modern nation state. In particular, we will discuss the (literary) representation of themes such as romantic love, postwar pure love, homosexual love, prostitution, love suicide, parental love, and more.
The course is open to all 3rd and 4th year undergraduate, graduate and NUPACE students. It will mostly be taught in English but all participants should have some understanding of Japanese and ideally be able to follow discussions in both languages. Reading responses and seminar papers can be submitted in either language. Students from other Schools are welcome if they are familiar with the basics of literary analysis.
The course is open to all 3rd and 4th year undergraduate, graduate and NUPACE students. It will mostly be taught in English but all participants should have some understanding of Japanese and ideally be able to follow discussions in both languages. Reading responses and seminar papers can be submitted in either language.
Students from other Schools are welcome if they are familiar with the basics of literary analysis.
While our focus will be on (translated) works of modern literature, we will make excursions to the pre-modern era and also read texts that look at "Love" from a historical, sociological and/ or anthropological perspective. All literary texts (but few/none of the research papers) read are available in Japanese as well.
This course is not a lecture but a reading-intensive seminar the learning outcome of which depends on your preparation and activeparticipation in class.
No textbook is required for this course. All weekly readings will be made available in English as PDFs, etc. Additionally, the following books are recommended:
- Luhmann, Niklas. Love as passion: the codification of intimacy. Polity Press, 1986.
- McLelland, Mark. Love, sex, and democtracy in Japan during the American Occupation. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
- Ryang, Sonia. Love in modern Japan: its estrangement from self, sex, and society. London, NY: Routledge 2006.
- Yokota-Murakami, Takayuki. Don Juan East/West. On the problematics of comparative literature. NY: State University of NY Press, 1998.
The topics and dates below are not fixed. Contents will be adjusted with the progression of the class.
|2|| Love linguistics |
|3|| Love in pre-modern and modern times |
|4|| Homosexual Love |
|5|| Love vs. Nation, Class, and Honor |
|6|| Literary confession and the discovery of sexuality |
|7|| The male gaze |
|8|| To love a modern girl |
|9|| Love and consumption |
|10|| Love and Madness |
|11|| Love, Sex, and Otherness |
|12|| Pre-fab homes/families, escapism, and male fantasies |
Participation 25%; Reading responses 25%; Two presentations 50%
Minimum attendance rate 80%
Page last updated November 27, 2015
The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.