East Asian Languages & Cultures | Japanese Literature II
E322 | 1621 | Alvis


Topic: Fantasy Literature

This survey of modern Japanese fiction will center on fantastic literature,
including tales of the supernatural, representations of utopia, and science
fiction. Through study of such fantasy works, the class will examine how
Japanese authors throughout the modern period have consistently used both
their own indigenous fantastic tradition (particularly ghost stories and
stories of "marriage with another species") and outside conventions of the
fantastic (most notably science fiction) to address contemporary social
issues. Social issues on which we will focus may include, among others,
Westernization; rapid technological growth; Japan's war legacy; and the
position of women.

Assignments will involve approximately 25-100 pages of reading per week,
bi_weekly short writing assignments (including "study sheets" for each major
text), group discussions, a midterm, and a final.

No prerequisites; knowledge of Japanese language is not necessary, though
some interest in, and enthusiasm for, Japanese literature is expected.