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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Japanese (JAPNS)

JAPNS 120 (GH;IL) Japanese Literature in Its Cultural Context (3) Japanese literature and film from classical through contemporary times, with attention to changing cultural settings. Taught in English.

JAPNS 120 Japanese Literature in its Cultural Context (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course is intended to provide an introduction to the literature of Japan from the seventh century to the postmodern era. Prior study of Japan is not required and materials will be available in English. Students will learn about major eras of Japanese literature and culture, such as the age of the Man'yoshu, the age of the Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji), the age of No and Kyogen, the age of Wit and Learning, the age of Meiji, the age of industrialization, the postwar years, and postmodernity. The readings will include several genres, such as poetry, folktale, short story, and novel, with an emphasis on prose fiction. The course is structured so that students develop a historical/cultural perspective in order to understand the contexts that have inspired the literary works. By examining literature in its cultural contexts, students will investigate such topics as the relation between social institutions and the individual, the traditional patriarchal system, the changing roles of women, westernization, the Emperor system, and postmodern consumer culture, among others.

Students will read literature and related materials from different periods, with occasional presentations of films. Class work includes some lecture but emphasizes guided discussions, group discussions, and students' presentations. This participatory approach is intended to deepen students' appreciation of the texts, to help them understand value systems that may differ from, or else be shared with, those predominant in modern Western cultures, and to assist students in developing both analytical and expressive abilities. Evaluation will be through means such as in-class presentations, two midterms, one analytic paper (3-7 pages), and in-class participation and discussion.

The course is designed to be suitable for all students generally interested in Japan, or interested in various fields of humanistic study, whether or not they have previously studied the culture of Japan. This course is required for the Japanese major. It is designed to count as General Education and as a B.A. "Other Cultures" course. It will be taught once a year with an enrollment of 40-50.

This course will be taught in the active-learning mode, featuring both lecture and discussion, including oral presentations, which provides students abundant opportunity for expressing their opinions. Web-based activities may also be included, depending on the instructor. Specifically:
Writing, speaking, self-expression: Students will write reaction papers and comprehensive essays (e.g. take-home essay exams), which require the analysis and comparison of various literary works.
Opportunity for information gathering, synthesis and analysis in solving problems; A wide range of texts--synchronic and diachronic terms of time and space--will be comparatively analyzed. Students will use the library as well as electronic resources to research texts and authors for their oral presentations and essays.
Application of intercultural/international competence: Students will explore a wide range of texts in Japanese literature and cultures. Students will compare/contrast texts based on cultural and social contexts.

General Education: GH
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures and Humanities
Effective: Spring 2010

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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