HISTORY 592 - Topics in Asian History
Section: 101 Samurai in Films
Term: SP 2008
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
2 - 3
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

How do modern films portray the samurai? How can we "read" these films to deepen our understanding of a millennium of samurai history? In this course we develop knowledge and perspectives needed for analyzing and better appreciating six great samurai films. By reading books, articles, and primary sources, we answer questions such as: Who were the samurai? How did they transform over nearly a millennium of their history? How did they fight and play, rule and obey, and love and betray? What roles did samurai's women play?

Our final goal is to critically examine the ways in which films, created by various directors in different political and cultural climates, represent and convey to the viewer the changing reality and ideals of the historical samurai through constructed narrative, visual techniques and other elements of artistry. While identifying and appreciating the films' artistic intentions, we interpret them from the perspective of a conscious historian and consider how this popular genre has contributed to the creation of a particular and often stereotyped vision of Japan's historical past.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of class attendance/participation and weekly tests (together, 60%), and a paper (40%). Attendance at films is required. No prerequisites.

HISTORY 592 - Topics in Asian History
Schedule Listing
101 (LEC)
7Graduate Standing
M 7:00PM - 9:00PM
W 6:00PM - 10:00PM
Note: This three-credit class has two meeting patterns, M 7-9 pm and W 6-10 pm. Attendance is required for both sessions. Meets with History 392.
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