East Asian Languages & Cultures | Japanese Literature II
E322 | 1522 | 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 100-150 pages of reading per week,
bi-weekly short writing assignments (including summaries of secondary
materials), group discussions, a midterm, and a final.