01:565:215 A-Bomb Literature and Film in Japan

Description: Reading and discussion of fiction, poetry, and film by and about survivors of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, with emphasis on problems of memory, representation, and redemption in a literature of trauma.

565:241 Premodern Japanese Literature in Translation: Japan is an interesting example of a pre-literate society that attained literacy through its encounter with a neighboring culture that had developed reading and writing on its own, in this case China. In this course, you will learn about the process whereby elites in Japan gradually mastered Chinese literacy and eventually invented a way to read and write their native Japanese language through a centuries- long process of adapting Chinese script (characters) for their own use. You'll have a chance to read and discuss works of classical, medieval, and early modern Japanese literature, including the Ainu and Okinawan traditions, from the 6th  to 18th  centuries. You will study various literary genres such as poetry, prose, drama, and oral literature. We will focus on the four major social, political, and cultural contexts from which Japan's literary texts emerged: (1) the imperial court, (2) Buddhist temples, (3) warrior society, and (4) the urban merchant-class. We'll pay special attention to the ongoing vitality of courtly traditions throughout the medieval and early-modern eras. All readings are in English translation.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: None

Semesters Offered: Spring and Summer

Topics: Reflection on U.S. nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Fiction readings and video documentaries.

Expected Work: Response sheets, papers, attendance and discussion

Syllabus