This class draws on theories of narrative from Western and Asian art and literature to explore various examples of Japanese visual narratives. Lectures will survey the history of visual storytelling in Japan from the seventh to twentieth centuries, emphasizing close visual, textual, and historical analyses. Class discussions explore a range of issues concerning narrative in Japan, including visual modes of storytelling in the scroll format, concepts of literary and pictorial genres in the pre-modern period, and the functions of picture scrolls as tools of persuasion, repositories for nostalgic visions of the classical past, vehicles for the mythologization of religious institutions, and sites for satiric representation. The objects to be analyzed range from twelfth-century Genji scrolls to modern animation, with special emphasis on illustrated texts. Category for concentration distributions: C. South, Southeast and Eastern Asia, 2. Medieval, 3. Early Modern
Textbooks/Other Materials: There is no required textbook for this class.
Your final grade will be based on the following assessments: attendance/participation (30%), a short analytic essay (20%), special assignments throughout the semester (20%), and a final paper and presentation (30%).
Upper-level undergraduates with an interest in art history, Japanese visual culture, and/or literature and the other arts. If you have a question about whether or not the class would be appropriate to you, please contact the instructor.
One 3-hour lecture seminar meeting involving discussion and some lecture.