ASIAN 301 - Writing Japanese Women
Section: 001
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Knowledge of Japanese is not required.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This is a course on writing by and about women — women's self-representation and male major authors' representations of women — in Japanese culture. It begins by a feminist reading of one of the world's oldest (9th-11th c.) traditions of women's writing: the memoirs, poetry, and fiction of the Heian court ladies who produced the country's first canonical literature and permanently marked its cultural self-image. It moves on to examine the semiotics of the feminine in Japanese culture using the popular image of women (including the portrayal of Heian women authors and their works) in medieval didactic and gothic tales; in the narrative painting scrolls; in the Nô and Kabuki stage, where male actors performed the "quintessentially feminine" to admiring audiences; in wood-block prints of "beauties" (courtesans or geisha) and stories of "amorous women" in the thriving new merchant culture. The third section focuses on modern women's writing, in particular its resistance to the intervening representations of the feminine and its own productive rereading of the Heian "mothers" in the process of recuperating women's ancient place in the critical representation of Japanese society.

Along with primary sources in literature and the visual arts, secondary sources will include theoretical readings in the psychology of sex, love, and death by Freud, Kristeva, Lacan, and Bataille; in the field of cultural production by Bourdieu; in feminist theories of reading in the Anglo-American academy. Materials and focus will vary from year to year. To be offered in the fall semester alternately with ASIAN 300.

ASIAN 301 - Writing Japanese Women
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
003 (DIS)
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM
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