Comparative Literature | Women in World Literature
C340 | 14643 | Prof. Jones
CMLT-C 340 (14643) Women in World Literature:
TOPIC: Japanese Women Writers and the Act of Writing
Prof.: S. Jones , TR 1:00-2:15 , BH149,
Fulfills AH and CS requirements
How have women envisioned their lives, the world, and the act of
writing? How have they re-presented a life they imagined? Are there
cultural differences in what they write about and in how they do it?
Why is it that women authors are particularly self-conscious about
their self-image as well as about writing? How do gender, race. and
class figure in women's imagination and in their struggle to write?
This course will examine these questions on the basis of Japanese
women's prose fiction from the ancient times to the present.
Lectures and class discussions will emphasize women’s sensitivity in
relation to the aesthetic and literary concerns of the time and
their innovations in terms of form, style, and method (narrative
devices) as well as the relationship of these often
secluded “women’s worlds” with the “larger” worlds of political,
economic, and cultural systems. Comparative references will be made
to women authors in other literatures.
Some of the works subjected to close reading will be in selected
portions or abridged editions. Novels in our reading list will
include Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper, Ariyoshi
Sawako’s The Doctor’s Wife, Marguerite Duras' The Lover, Yoshimoto
Banana’s Kitchen, and Kirino Natsuo’s Out. The course will also
sample short stories by Kono Taeko, Kurahashi Yumiko, Tomioka Taeko,
Takahashi Takako, Tsushima Yuko, and others. On women’s role as
writer, the class will examine selections from the writings of Lady
Murasaki, Tamura Toshiko, Virginia Woolf, Helene Cixous, Maxine
Hong Kinston, and others.
Attendance at one or two film showings in the evening is
required. There will be a midterm and a final examination, each
including an essay component. In addition, two short in-class essays
will be assigned on some of the texts studied in the course. No
knowledge of Japanese language or culture is expected but the love
of reading any literature will be useful.