Comparative Literature | Sexuality and Arts
C546 | 1242 | Jones

4:00-7:00 	W	BH 221

By focusing on the issues of gaze (the power of the subject of gaze,
the nature and role of the object of gaze, image-making and
image-reading, authorship and spectatorship, for example), this course
will explore the construction of desire and gender in literature,
pictorial arts, theatre, and film. Examples for comparison will be
drawn from Japanese, Chinese, and European/ American cultures.
Students will be briefly introduced to the fundamental strands in East
Asian thought: religious intellectual, political, and
psychoanalytical. Short selections from Barthes, Bataille, Bryson,
Butler, Takeo Doi, Gallop, Kristeva, Lauretice, Mitchell, Mulvy, and
Linda Williams will  provide a theoretical framework for our
discussion. Each member of the course is encouraged to bring in texts
and develop a critical position during the semester. No knowledge of
any East Asian language or culture is needed.
Pictorial materials will be chosen from erotic and pornographic works
from eastern and western cultures since the 18th century including
current comics and other genres of popular culture. Since film
foregrounds visuality, almost any good film should be useful so that
the selection will be made depending on the seminar members'
interests. Among many others, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, M.
Butterfly, Raise the Red Lantern, and Yellow Wall Paper may be worth
our consideration. Literary texts will include: the n  plays Pining
Wind and The Well-Cradle, Saikaku's Five Women Who Loved Love and The
Great Mirror of Male Love, The Dream of the Red Chamber, The Prayer
Mat of Flesh, The Golden Lotus, Cleland's Fanny Hill, kabuki play,
Sukeroku, Bateille's Story of the Eye, Tanizaki's Quicksand, Mishima's
Forbidden Colors, and Erica Jong's Fanny as well as current short
stories by women authors such as Kono Taeko, Takahashi Takako, and
Matsuura Rieko. (Some of the long novels will be read in selected
Each member of the course will pursue a research project.  The
final product may be: (1) a critical essay comparing eastern and
western works, or (2) an essay analyzing one or more East Asian works
in reference to some kind of theory, depending on the individual's
area of specialty. The goal is to produce one publishable article
(around 25 pages) or a paper (8-10 pages) appropriate for presentation
at a major conference.  To that end, the seminar will help its members
by the process of revision on stages and by holding working paper
presentations and a mock conference. This course is open to graduate
students only. Interested students are asked to get in touch with the
instructor during this semester so that she can adjust the readings
and topics to include their interests and specialties in the syllabus.