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Modern Japanese Fiction

This is an introductory course to modern and post-war Japanese literature in English translation. No prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese is necessary to enroll. Our focus will be on the emergence of the modern self, both public and private, in a wide variety of fictional works from the late nineteenth century (the late-Meiji period) to the end of World War II.

Third-year Japanese

Welcome to Japanese 301!  In this class, we will be learning new vocabulary, kanji and grammatical structures through discussions on various topics on Japanese society and culture, while reinforcing previously learned expressions. We will be emphasizing balanced communicative skills in all four aspects of language learning, speaking, listening, writing and reading, as well as socio-cultural knowledge associated with language use.

Monsters in Japanese Culture

Every culture has its things that go bump in the night, and, whether the boogieman or the monster under the bed, we all grew up fearing them. Japanese culture is rich in monster-like figures: from the earliest creation myths to the twenty-first century movies and anime, Japanese literature and culture is full of thrills and chills.

Modern and Contemporary Japanese Women Writers

Starting with the nineteenth century, Japanese women writers started to reclaim their grandmothers’ heritage. They took the male-dominated literary world by assault, pushing the boundaries which confined them, drawing on their literary legacy and reinventing it, resisting the label of “women’s literature” so often pejoratively attached to their works.

Gender in Classical Japan

This course explores the topics of gender and sexuality in Japanese literature and culture, from the earliest myths of the 8th century to late 18th century theater and art. We will explore a variety of genres, including poetry, courtier and warrior tales, noh and jōruri drama, short-stories and novellas, focusing on sub-topics such as traditional and transgressive gender roles, representations of the body, cross-dressing, homosexuality, prostitution and sexual violence.

First-year Japanese

This course will provide you with an active knowledge of modern Japanese and the ability to speak, comprehend, read and write at beginning levels. Each lesson consists of four or five structural patterns, a list of useful vocabulary words, hiragana, katakana and kanji, and practice exercises to help you learn the situations in which these new items are used.