East Asian Languages & Cultures | Japanese Literature I
E321 | 1567 | Jones
NO KNOWLEDGE OF JAPANESE LANGUAGE OR CULTURE IS REQUIRED.
This course will examine writings by modern women authors on the subject of
women. Primary texts for this course have been chosen from Japanese
literature, but because the class will be taught from a comparative
perspective, we will also read a few Western texts. As is well known.
Women figure prominently in the formation of classical literary genres in
Japan. Although women seemed to fall into the shadows of male authors
during the medieval and early-modern times, women's movements and the
increased visibility of intellectual women during the late nineteenth
century paved the way for the current success of women writers in Japan.
The course will begin with early modern writers such as Jane Austen and
Higuchi Ichiyo and move into the twentieth century by reading the works of
authors such as Enchi Fumiko, Ariyoshi Sawako, Marguerite Duras, Kono
Taeko, and Takahoshi Takako. Lectures will introduce the historical
backdrop of each text emphasizing the status of women within the particular
cultural context. Class discussion will focus on the nature of women's
sensitivity in relation to the aesthetic and literary concerns of the text
as well as on how these often secluded "women's worlds" relate to the
"larger worlds" of political, economic, and cultural powers. Gender
differences will be explored chiefly in relation to narrative voice
(perspective), genre, and style.
Course requirements include attendance of two evening film showings, a
midterm and a final examination, both of which include brief essay
components. In addition, after the midterm, a short essay will be assigned
on a few of the texts studied in this course. Your final grade will be
based on your scores on the two exams, the essay, and classroom discussion
NOTE: students registered under C340 will be required to read a few
additional texts from Western literature and include a comparative
discussion of these texts in the essay.
This course meets with CMLT C340; credit given for only one of EALC E321
and CMLT C340.