Spring 2008

Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-33


Timothy J. Van Compernolle (Section 01)


(J) This course is an introduction to modern and contemporary Japanese literature through readings and discussions of short stories, novels, drama, and poetry from mainland Japan and Okinawa. The course deals with both literary and cultural issues from around 1800 to the present day, with particular emphasis placed on how literature has reflected and responded to the vertiginous transformations undergone by Japan in the last two centuries: the rise of a commercial economy, the encounter with the West, rapid modernization and the emergence of consumer culture, imperial expansion, war, defeat, democratization, and finally vaulting back onto the world stage as a postmodern economic superpower. This course assumes no prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese, and all texts are taught using English translations. Limited to 20 students. Second semester. Professor Van Compernolle.