HISTORY 592 - Topics in Asian History
Section: 001 Gender and War
Term: WN 2018
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Waitlist Capacity:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

“Geisha” are “persons (sha) of artistic achievements (gei)” whose images and meanings have evolved in the last two centuries into a romanticized icon of the Japanese feminine. This course aims to demystify geisha by exploring their antecedents in premodern times and transformation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The course considers geisha’s role and place in today’s Japanese society by examining their formalized organization, professional rules and cultural practices, such as the arts of kimono-wearing, facial make-up, hair-knotting, aristocratic writing, music playing, dancing, singing, walking, speaking, and gesturing. We study representations of the geisha in a variety of popular culture, including photographs, films, and novels by carefully addressing the issue of “other-ing” and gendering within the changing dynamic of geopolitical circumstances that generated the specific image. Throughout, we will be mindful of the importance of prescription versus reality and the danger of imagination turning into what we call history. In addition to reading two books and articles, the class will see films, visit the U-M Museum of Art, and participate in hands-on activities.

Course Requirements:

Evaluation is based on: occasional quizzes, two papers (1000 and 2000 words), and a final examination, given on the established final examination time.

Intended Audience:

No data submitted

Class Format:

lecture, group discussion, various hands-on activities, museum visits

HISTORY 592 - Topics in Asian History
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
WF 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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