East Asian Languages & Cultures | Seminar in Modern Japanese Literature
J651 | 1710 | Jones

Modern Japanese thought and literature have been enriched and burdened by
various aspects of modernity, the chief cause and condition for all modern
phenomena. This seminar will study how the issues of
individuality, identity, nation, gender and ethnicity have been dealt with
in the works of theory/criticism and literature as well as what sorts of
innovations have been found in the expression of modernity by representative
authors from the late Edo period to now.  Another purpose of the course is
to train students in analytical reading of Japanese texts in a variety of
forms and styles ("literature" includes drama, film, and
manga).  The authors suggested by prospective students and favored by the
instructor include Hiraga Gennai, Tamenaga Shunsui, Fukuzawa Yukichi,
Tsubouchi Shoyo, Natsume Soseki, Shimamura Hogetsu, Yokomitsu Riichi,
Noguchi Takehiko, Mishima Yukio,  Abe Kobo, Kurahashi Yumiko, Karatani
Kojin, Kurosawa Akira, Takahashi Takako, Hagio Moto, Amino Yoshihiko, and
Ito Hiromi.

The background of four years of Japanese language training is appropriate
for this course. All of the readings will be in Japanese, but the lectures
and discussions will freely mix Japanese and English depending on the
proficiency of the individual students. The reading list will be adjusted to
the needs of the members of the seminar. All of the selections will be put
in a packet at the beginning of the semester. One short selection of a work
or two will be studied closely at each session with one student appointed as
specialist leader on the author and the text.  Each member of the seminar is
also required to give one presentation in class whether it is a research
paper, a translation, or a stylistic analysis of a text. As for writing
assignments, three options are open: submit three short analytical papers on
individual texts, or submit one analytical paper plus one research paper, or
submit one analytical paper plus one translation of a work discussed in

The above description and choice of texts are still open to negotiation.
Students interested in taking this seminar are urged to get in touch with
the instructor at joness@indiana.edu and suggest topics and
texts of his/ her interest as soon as possible.