Open to Gallatin first-year students only.
This course aims to familiarize students with a range of post World War II Japanese prose fiction and cinema. We will pursue close readings of our varied texts to discuss the concerns of 1950s-2000s literary and filmic texts, and how those concerns are articulated. Our inquiry will straddle immediate postwar laments over a disappearing traditional culture to the celebration of globalism and consumerism, and the increasingly multicultural nature of Japanese culture. Our survey will include texts by feminist women, outcastes, and Korean-Japanese. One of our goals will be to recognize the diversity of Japanese postwar fiction, and to complicate American provincial notions of what constitutes “Japaneseness.” Alongside the fiction we will read relevant sources on narratology and film theory. Our books will include Kawabata’s Snow Country , Mishima’s Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland, and Enchi’s The Waiting Years. The films will include Imamura’s “Karayuki-san, The Making of a Prostitute,” and Sai’s Blood and Bones.
First-Year Program: Interdisciplinary Seminars (FIRST-UG)