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Indiana University Japanese Language Department インディアナ大学ブルーミントン日本語科
Jump To Graduate Courses

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

J101 Elementary Japanese 1

For undergraduates only.
4 credits

The goal of J101 is for students to acquire basic communicative skills in Japanese and to become well-rounded in their overall skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). This course will introduce hiragana, katakana, and 58 kanji. Each week, the class meets in two large-group (TR) and three small-group (MWF) sessions. The TR sessions primarily introduce and explain the grammar and culture relevant to the lesson; use of Japanese by students is encouraged, but students may use English to ask questions on aspects of grammar or culture. Use of Japanese by both instructors and students is mandatory in the MWF sessions, which are devoted primarily to practicing what has been introduced in the TR sessions.

J102 Elementary Japanese 2

For undergraduates only.
4 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J101 or equivalent proficiency

This course is a continuation of J101. The goal of the course is for students to further acquire basic communicative skills in Japanese and to become well-rounded in their overall skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). You will attend five class hours per week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays (TR) you will attend a large-group sessions where new material is introduced, and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (MWF) you will attend small practice (drill) sessions. Students will be graded daily on their performances and there will be frequent quizzes and exams. Assignments include written exercises for each lesson, listening exercises, and miscellaneous exercises at the discretion of the instructor.

J110 Japanese Advanced Beginners

For undergraduates only.
3 credits
Prerequisite: equivalent proficiency based on EALC placement test

This course is designed for students who already have some familiarity with beginner level Japanese, but who are not proficient enough in the language to meet the prerequisite for J102. The goal of the course is to enable students to improve their speaking, listening, reading, writing, and, more generally, communicative skills in Japanese. Toward this end, students will spend a good deal of class time using Japanese and practicing material introduced in the text. All classes will consist of lectures and drills (there will be no separate drill sessions). Grading will be based on classroom attendance and performance, homework assignments, quizzes and tests, a mid-term, and a final exam. Students who earn a grade of C or higher in J110 will be able to register for J102 in spring.

J111: Elementary Business Japanese I

Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in J101

Students registered for Elementary Japanese may simultaneously register for this course, which meets once a week. Students will practice dialogue and grammar patterns they have learned in J101, with an eye to business-world applications. Business-related vocabulary will be added, and situations and contexts common to the practical world of commerce and trade will be simulated. Students will also be taught cultural materials appropriate to the world of business and reflected in the elementary language patterns they are learning in class.

J112 Elementary Business Japanese II

Corequisite: registration in J102

Students registered for J102 can simultaneously register for this course, which meets once a week. Students will practice dialogue and grammar patterns they have learned in J102 with an eye to business-world applications. Business-related vocabulary will be added, and situations and contexts common to the practical world of commerce and trade will be simulated. Students will also be taught cultural materials appropriate to the world of business and reflected in the elementary language patterns they are learning in class.

J201 Second Year Japanese 1

For undergraduates only
4 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or higher in J102 or equivalent proficiency based on EALC placement test

The goal of this course is for the students to continue to improve communicative skills in Japanese and to become more well-rounded in their overall skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). This course will introduce more kanji. Each week, the class meets in two large-group (TR) and three small- group (MWF) sessions. The TR sessions primarily introduce and explain the lesson; use of Japanese by students is encouraged, but students may use English to ask questions on aspects of grammar or culture. Use of Japanese by both instructors and students is mandatory in the MWF sessions, which are devoted primarily to practicing what has been introduced in the TR sessions. Course requirements include class performance; homework assignments; quizzes; a midterm and a final exam. The second volume of Genki will be used as the main text.

J202 Second Year Japanese 2

For undergraduates only
4 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J201 or equivalent proficiency

The goal of this course is for the students to continue to improve their overall skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) in Japanese. This is the last course (fourth semester) of the college language requirement. As stated among the 11 goals of the College, by completing this course, we expect students to have acquired "fundamental skills for communicating" with Japanese people. By the end of the course, we hope students will be able to carry out simple socially appropriate conversations, successfully listen to and understand simple stories and conversations, read and understand fairly long texts written for intermediate-level language learners, and write essays (including journal entries) expressing and supporting their own ideas and opinions. The materials in the course will cover a wide range of topics. The structure of the course: You will attend five class hours per week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays (TR) you will attend a large-group sessions where new material is introduced, and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (MWF) you attend small practice (drill) sessions. Daily and active participation in class is expected. Grades will be based on daily performance, homework assignments (including a class project), quizzes, lesson tests, an oral/written midterm and a final exam.

J301 Third Year Japanese 1

For undergraduates only
4 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J202 or equivalent proficiency based on EALC placement test.

J301 is designed to expand upon the skills and knowledge acquired in the first two years of Japanese language courses. Students will continue to develop the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) as well as cultural proficiency. The aim of the course is to help students become autonomous lifelong learners of Japanese. The class meets five times a week and all classes will be conducted mainly in Japanese. In three of the classes (MWF), students will be introduced to the new materials and in two of the classes (TR), students will practice the materials introduced in MWF classes. Students will be graded on the basis of classroom attendance and performance, homework assignments, quizzes and tests, and a final exam.

J302 Third Year Japanese 2

For undergraduates only
4 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J301 or equivalent proficiency.

J302 is a continuation of J301 (Third-Year Japanese 1) and uses the same textbook. Students will continue to develop the four critical language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) as well as cultural proficiency. The class meets five times a week and all classes will be conducted in Japanese. In three of the classes, students will be introduced to new materials, and in two of the classes, students will practice these materials. Grading will be based on class attendance, participation and performance, homework assignments, quizzes, tests, a final exam, and any other additional assigned work.

J313 Business Japanese

For undergraduates only
3 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J202 or equivalent proficiency.

This course is designed to teach Japanese with emphasis on using Japanese for business purposes in the global setting. The prerequisite is completion of J202: Intermediate Japanese II or an EALC placement test score sufficient for placement in J301. The course is designed for intermediate-mid to intermediate-high level students (where level is determined by ACTFL OPI guidelines). The main objective of the course is to enable students to acquire the language skills and cultural knowledge necessary for effective communication within Japanese business contexts.

J401 Fourth Year Japanese 1

For undergraduates only
3 credits
Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in J302 or equivalent proficiency
Not suitable for native speakers

Instruction will be given on the four skills of language (reading, speaking, listening, and writing), although emphasis will be placed on reading and discussion of advanced materials. The course specifically focuses on the topic of Japanese food, examining various aspects of the Japanese culture and people revolving around the topic. The reading materials throughout the course consist of a wide variety of genres and media. The course requirements include active participation in in-class discussion, assignments, quizzes and tests, presentations and a project on the topic.

J402 Fourth Year Japanese 2

For undergraduates only
3 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J401 or equivalent proficiency

Instruction will be given on the four skills of language (reading, speaking, listening, and writing), although emphasis will be placed on reading and discussion of advanced materials. Students will read different kinds of Japanese such as novels, journalistic writing, scholarly articles, etc. The course requirements include class participation, assignments, quizzes and tests.

J421 Introduction to Japanese Linguistics

For undergraduates only
3 credits

This course introduces basic linguistic descriptions of Japanese phonology and morphology, and their interactions with language variation and language acquisition. Through a series of problem solving exercises and projects, students are expected to develop analytical skills pertinent to linguistic observations and argumentation. The course requirements include active participation in class discussion, tests, presentations and a project. Completion of at least the elementary level Japanese is strongly recommended.

J425 Teaching Japanese as Foreign/Second Language

For undergraduates only
3 credits
Prerequisite: EALC-J 302 with a grade of C or better, or equivalent

This course is designed for students who want (1) to learn how to teach Japanese as a foreign/second language and (2) to become familiar with important practical and theoretical issues in the field of second language acquisition. Because of the nature of the class, students are expected to have an intermediate-high or higher proficiency level in Japanese as measured by the ACTFL proficiency rating scale.The goal of the course is to prepare students to teach Japanese as a foreign/second language by introducing them to proficiency-oriented, communicative approaches to teaching language. Through various class activities such as textbook reviews, class observations, teaching demonstrations, and in-class presentations students will receive hands-on training needed for achieving this goal. Many of the ideas and methods addressed in this course will be useful to students who may teach in other disciplines as well. The course grade will be based on class-preparation and participation, written assignments, a teaching demonstration, and a final project.

J441 Readings in Japanese Scholarly Materials

For undergraduates only
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J402 or equivalent proficiency

See course description for EALC J581. This course meets with J581, but is for undergraduates only.

J461 Literary Japanese

For undergraduates only
3 credits
Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in EALC-J 302 or equivalent proficiency as based on EALC proficiency test

This course is an introduction to classical Japanese grammar through the reading of carefully selected texts in pre-modern Japanese literature. Students will be introduced to the grammatical forms and rhetorical modes of expression in literary Japanese by learning to read them in the original and to translate them into reasonably literary English. We will be reading from a variety of brief prose and lyric texts (most of them excerpted from longer works), representing the diverse range of styles employed by writers of the mid to late Heian period (early 10th through early 13th centuries). Depending on class interest, we will also look at texts from the Kamakura period and later.

J491 Humanities Topics in Japanese: Translation

For undergraduates only
3 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or higher in J302 or equivalent proficiency
This class carries COLL A&H distribution credit and Culture Studies credit
This class meets with EALC-J505

This is a course for graduate students and advanced undergraduates (a graduate section will meet concurrently with the class and can count for graduate credit in EALC). The goal of this course is to provide students with a practicum in producing polished, literary translations from Japanese to English. The course presupposes good reading proficiency in modern Japanese, but moves toward developing students’ skills in translation and English style. We will also work tangentially at developing skills in literary interpretation and analysis, partly through our close-readings of the texts we are translating, but also through readings in secondary materials on translation issues, problems of narrative voice, poetic meter and technique, etc. The range of texts we will read and translate depends in part on student interest, but will focus largely on short literary texts by contemporary Japanese writers of fiction, memoir and essay. All readings in Japanese. This course counts for credit as a Japanese language course (4th year level or above). Students will be evaluated on the basis of daily participation in class, regular written homework assignments, and a final translation project.

J491 Humanities Topics in Japanese: Reading Modern and Contemporary Japanese Fiction

For undergraduates only
Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in J302/534 or equivalent proficiency as determined by the instructor
This class carries COLL A&H distribution credit and Culture Studies credit
This class meets with EALC-J505

This course is for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Students will read modern and contemporary Japanese fiction in the original language, work on translations and write short essays in Japanese and English. The course will focus on stylistics and rhetoric analysis, and require students to read a variety of contemporary short stories in order to understand different styles of written Japanese (such as regional dialects, specific genres, gender and class differences, etc). By analyzing language use in modern and contemporary literature, students will advance their Japanese language ability while learning various methods of literary analysis. This course counts for credit as a Japanese language course (4th year level or above). Students will be evaluated on class attendance, class participation, translation assignments, tests, and essays in Japanese and English.

J491 The World of Anime & Manga

Prerequisite: grade of C or higher in J302 or equivalent proficiency

This course is intended mainly for undergraduate students who have completed the third year of Japanese or above or those who have an equivalent proficiency level in Japanese. Students who are registered for fourth-year Japanese will find it ideal to take this course simultaneously. Although the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing will be taught, more emphasis will be placed on speaking and listening. Excerpts from animated films by Miyazaki Hayao and others will be viewed mainly in class. However, from time to time , students may need to view animated films outside of class as well. The analysis and discussion will center around the cultural issues presented in the films. We will also read manga, paying attention to language uses and the features unique to manga. We will examine the special characteristics of manga writing and discuss issues presented in the stories. Students will be evaluated on their preparation for and participation in class. There will be frequent short quizzes that will cover mainly listening and reading comprehension. Students will be required to complete a course project.

GRADUATE COURSES

J101 Elementary Japanese 1

For graduates only.
2 credits
These sections meet with J101 undergraduate sections

The goal of J101 is for students to acquire basic communicative skills in Japanese and to become well-rounded in their overall skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). This course will introduce hiragana, katakana, and 58 kanji. Each week, the class meets in two large-group (TR) and three small-group (MWF) sessions. The TR sessions primarily introduce and explain the grammar and culture relevant to the lesson; use of Japanese by students is encouraged, but students may use English to ask questions on aspects of grammar or culture. Use of Japanese by both instructors and students is mandatory in the MWF sessions, which are devoted primarily to practicing what has been introduced in the TR sessions.

J102 Elementary Japanese 2

For graduates only.
2 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J101 or equivalent proficiency

This course is a continuation of J101. The goal of the course is for students to further acquire basic communicative skills in Japanese and to become well-rounded in their overall skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). You will attend five class hours per week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays (TR) you will attend a large-group sessions where new material is introduced, and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (MWF) you will attend small practice (drill) sessions. Students will be graded daily on their performances and there will be frequent quizzes and exams. Assignments include written exercises for each lesson, listening exercises, and miscellaneous exercises at the discretion of the instructor.

J201 Second Year Japanese 1

For graduates
4 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or higher in J102 or equivalent proficiency based on EALC placement test

The goal of this course is for the students to continue to improve communicative skills in Japanese and to become more well-rounded in their overall skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). This course will introduce more kanji. Each week, the class meets in two large-group (TR) and three small- group (MWF) sessions. The TR sessions primarily introduce and explain the lesson; use of Japanese by students is encouraged, but students may use English to ask questions on aspects of grammar or culture. Use of Japanese by both instructors and students is mandatory in the MWF sessions, which are devoted primarily to practicing what has been introduced in the TR sessions. Course requirements include class performance; homework assignments; quizzes; a midterm and a final exam. The second volume of Genki will be used as the main text.

J202 Second Year Japanese 2

For graduates
2 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J201 or equivalent proficiency

The goal of this course is for the students to continue to improve their overall skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) in Japanese. This is the last course (fourth semester) of the college language requirement. As stated among the 11 goals of the College, by completing this course, we expect students to have acquired "fundamental skills for communicating" with Japanese people. By the end of the course, we hope students will be able to carry out simple socially appropriate conversations, successfully listen to and understand simple stories and conversations, read and understand fairly long texts written for intermediate-level language learners, and write essays (including journal entries) expressing and supporting their own ideas and opinions. The materials in the course will cover a wide range of topics. The structure of the course: You will attend five class hours per week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays (TR) you will attend a large-group sessions where new material is introduced, and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (MWF) you attend small practice (drill) sessions. Daily and active participation in class is expected. Grades will be based on daily performance, homework assignments (including a class project), quizzes, lesson tests, an oral/written midterm and a final exam.

J505 Topics in Japanese Studies: Translation as Craft

For graduates
3 credits
Prerequisite: grade of C or higher in J302/J534 or equivalent
This class meets with EALC-J491

This is a course for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The goal of this course is to provide students with a practicum in producing polished, literary translations from Japanese to English. The course presupposes good reading proficiency in modern Japanese, but moves toward developing students’ skills in translation and English style. We will also work tangentially at developing skills in literary interpretation and analysis, partly through our close- readings of the texts we are translating, but also through readings in secondary materials on translation issues, problems of narrative voice, poetic meter and technique, etc. The range of texts we will read and translate depends in part on student interest, but will focus largely on short literary texts by contemporary Japanese writers of fiction, memoir and essay. All readings in Japanese. This course counts for credit as a Japanese language course (4th year level or above). Students will be evaluated on the basis of daily participation in class, regular written homework assignments, and a final translation project.

J505 Topics in Japanese Studies: Reading Modern and Contemporary Japanese Fiction

For graduates
Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in J302/534 or equivalent proficiency as determined by the instructor
This course meets with EALC-J491

This course is for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Students will read modern and contemporary Japanese fiction in the original language, work on translations and write short essays in Japanese and English. The course will focus on stylistics and rhetoric analysis, and require students to read a variety of contemporary short stories in order to understand different styles of written Japanese (such as regional dialects, specific genres, gender and class differences, etc). By analyzing language use in modern and contemporary literature, students will advance their Japanese language ability while learning various methods of literary analysis. This course counts for credit as a Japanese language course (4th year level or above). Students will be evaluated on class attendance, class participation, translation assignments, tests, and essays in Japanese and English.

J505 The World of Anime & Manga

For graduates
Prerequisite: grade of C or higher in J302 or equivalent proficiency

This is the graduate section of the course on anime and manga that meets with EALC J491. See the course description for J491 on this topic.

J506 Literary Japanese

For graduates
3 credits
Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in EALC-J 534/302 or equivalent proficiency as based on EALC proficiency test
This section meets with EALC-J461

This course is an introduction to classical Japanese grammar through the reading of carefully selected texts in pre-modern Japanese literature. Students will be introduced to the grammatical forms and rhetorical modes of expression in literary Japanese by learning to read them in the original and to translate them into reasonably literary English. We will be reading from a variety of brief prose and lyric texts (most of them excerpted from longer works), representing the diverse range of styles employed by writers of the mid to late Heian period (early 10th through early 13th centuries). Depending on class interest, we will also look at texts from the Kamakura period and later.

J511 Research Methods in Japanese Studies

An introduction to basic Japanese language reference materials and the mechanics of research in Japanese sources. Students should have reading skills at the 4th year level or beyond.

J520 Introduction to Japanese Linguistics

For graduates
3 credits
This section meets with EALC-J421

This course introduces basic linguistic descriptions of Japanese phonology and morphology, and their interactions with language variation and language acquisition. Through a series of problem solving exercises and projects, students are expected to develop analytical skills pertinent to linguistic observations and argumentation. The course requirements include active participation in class discussion, tests, presentations and a term paper.

J521 Readings in Traditional Japanese Lit: The Tale of Genji

For graduates
3 credits

This course will explore The Tale of Genji from a number of critical perspectives, including issues of narrative voice, characterization, modes of irony and parody, use of dialogue, the role of poetry in narrative development. Because Genji is quite long, course readings will be organized around specific shorter excerpts that address these issues. Parallel readings of the entire work in English translation, and readings in the critical literature on Genji will accompany our exploration of the original text. Prerequisite: at least one semester of Classical Japanese (J461 or J506 or permission of the instructor). Students will be evaluated on the basis of participation in class discussion; two short oral reports on secondary readings; and an end-of-term paper (15-20 p), based on a topic developed in consultation with the instructor.

J522 Readings in Modern Japanese Literature: Language and Issues of Modernity

For graduates
3 credits
Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of EALC J402/502 or equivalent proficiency with instructor’s permission

This graduate course examines short stories from Meiji to early Showa, focusing particularly on issues of modernity, narrative, and language. We will read "canonical" works as well as bestselling popular texts that have played a central role in the cultural imaginary of the period. In addition, we will examine critical texts in English that help us position these stories within broader contexts of language and modernity. The fictional works will be in Japanese; discussion and papers will be in English.

J533 Third Year Japanese 1

For graduates
3 credits
Prerequisite: A grade of C or higher in J202 or equivalent proficiency based on EALC placement test.
These sections meet with J301

This class is designed to expand upon the skills and knowledge acquired in the first two years of Japanese language courses. Students will continue to develop the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) as well as cultural proficiency. The aim of the course is to help students become autonomous lifelong learners of Japanese. The class meets five times a week and all classes will be conducted mainly in Japanese. In three of the classes (MWF), students will be introduced to the new materials and in two of the classes (TR), students will practice the materials introduced in MWF classes. Students will be graded on the basis of classroom attendance and performance, homework assignments, quizzes and tests, and a final exam.

J542 Readings in Japanese Historical Texts

For graduates only
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J402 or equivalent proficiency, or permission of the instructor

An advanced course in Japanese for those wishing to enhance their reading skills beyond the fourth-year level. Emphasis will be on reading comprehension of a wide variety of genres: newspaper and magazine articles, short stories, historical fiction, and academic essays. Student interests will be taken into account in selecting materials for study.

J543 Fourth Year Japanese 1

For graduates only
3 credits
Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in J302/J534 or equivalent proficiency as determined by the EALC placement test.
Not suitable for native speakers.

Instruction will be given on the four skills of language (reading, speaking, listening, and writing), although emphasis will be placed on reading and discussion of advanced materials. The course specifically focuses on the topic of Japanese food, examining various aspects of the Japanese culture and people revolving around the topic. The reading materials throughout the course consist of a wide variety of genres and media. The course requirements include active participation in in-class discussion, assignments, quizzes and tests, presentations and a project on the topic.

J545 Teaching Japanese as Foreign/Second Language

For graduates only
3 credits
Prerequisite: EALC-J 302/534 with a grade of C or better, or equivalent proficiency
Meets with EALC-J425

This course is designed for students who want (1) to learn how to teach Japanese as a foreign/second language and (2) to become familiar with important practical and theoretical issues in the field of second language acquisition. Because of the nature of the class, students are expected to have an intermediate-high or higher proficiency level in Japanese as measured by the ACTFL proficiency rating scale. The goal of the course is to prepare students to teach Japanese as a foreign/second language by introducing them to proficiency-oriented, communicative approaches to teaching language. Through various class activities such as textbook reviews, class observations, teaching demonstrations, and in-class presentations students will receive hands-on training needed for achieving this goal. Many of the ideas and methods addressed in this course will be useful to students who may teach in other disciplines as well.

J580 Japanese for Sinologists

For graduates only
3 credits
Prerequisite: a grade of B or better in J202 or equivalent proficiency or permission of instructor.

Introduction to Japanese scholarship on China. Emphasis on grammatical structures and stylistic conventions. Can be repeated with different content up to two times for up to 9 credits.

J581 Modern Academic and Professional Japanese I

For graduates only
Prerequisite: grade of C or better in J502 or equivalent proficiency

This course is designed for advanced students of Japanese. Students will read and discuss modern materials selected from the humanities and social sciences, including a collection of writings on selected individuals who played a special role in modern Japanese history. Students will also work on a research project on a topic of their interest throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, they will share their work with the class. This course is designed to address individual needs and at the same time function as a class.

J651 Seminar in Modern Japanese Literature

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 class.

J653 Seminar in Traditional Japanese Literature: Issues in Late Heian Fiction

This course explores thematic problems in the genre of court fiction (tsukuri monogatari) written in the aftermath of the Tale of Genji (first decade, 11th century). We will begin by concentrating on close reading and analysis of short, key passages from classical texts in bungo, and move out from them to address connections with issues in current secondary scholarship in modern Japanese and English (which may include but are not limited to: gender, sexuality, and the representation of the body in Heian narrative; premodern aesthetic terminologies and strategies for the interpretation of fiction; literary voyeurism and gender dynamics; intertextuality and fiction as commentary). Secondary readings in English and modern Japanese will provide critical and theoretical frameworks for discussing how classical Japanese literature has been critically appropriated by various methods of modern literary scholarship. In the last weeks of the semester, students will make oral presentations of their work in progress, and critique each other's work. There will be a final paper due after the end of classes. Primary texts tentatively scheduled: Genji monogatari (Uji chapters), Yoru no nezame, Torikaebaya, and Mumyôzôshi. Students are urged to read before the beginning of term an English translation of the Genji (if they have not already), so that they can come into the class with a general sense of the issues raised by Heian fiction.

J653 Seminar in Traditional Japanese Literature

Topic: Japanese Literature and the Poetics of Looking
Prerequisite: consent of the instructor (students who have skills in modern Japanese but not bungo may still be eligible for J credit)

This seminar will be organized around a series of related themes and topoi in Japanese narrative, namely those concerned with different kinds of erotic and/or transgressive looking, and how these scenes raise questions about narrative perspective, voice, gender, and power. We will begin with readings from the literature of the Heian court, focusing on its preoccupation with episodes of "kaimami" (peeping through the hedge) and "nozokimi" (stolen glimpses). We will spend about half of the semester exploring complex developments of these themes in The Tale of Genji, the Pillow Book, and later narratives. We will also pursue the theme in other primary texts from modern Japanese (or non-Japanese) literature as time and the interests of the seminar members permits. A key part of the seminar readings will be drawn from the burgeoning secondary literature in English and modern Japanese on "the gaze." Students who come from a comparative literature (or other national literature) background are welcome and encouraged to make suggestions about readings outside the Japanese tradition.

Evaluation: Members of the seminar will be evaluated on the basis of 1) their participation in weekly seminar discussions and readings, 2) regular contributions in the form of oral presentations on secondary readings, 3) a final oral presentation on the seminar paper in progress, and 4) the seminar paper itself (ideally, 20-25 pages). For "J" credit, the student must do readings in Japanese (secondary literature in modern Japanese and/or readings of classical texts in classical Japanese). Students who want to read English translations should register for the EALC E505 version of this topic.