East Asian Studies

  • Tokyo as a Literary Topos

    In this course, we will examine the varying representations of Tokyo thematized in literary texts written since the alleged beginning of modern Japan. We will pay attention to the transforming metropolis, its repeated destruction and reconstruction, its changing roles in the lives of the people living within and without Tokyo. We will see how Tokyo at once becomes a site of nostalgia and suffering, desire and struggle. Our inquiries will also extend themselves to differing social status and gender roles in the city.
  • Postwar Japanese Narrative: Modern to Postmodern

    This course examines postwar Japanese experience through major literary, cinematic, and intellectual achievements. The objective is first to analyze a multitude of struggles in the aftermath of the Asia-Pacific War, and then to inquire into the nature of post-industrial prosperity in capitalist consumerism and the emergence of postmodernism. The course will cover representative postwar figures such as, Oe Kenzaburo, Dazai Osamu, Mishima Yukio, as well as contemporary writers such as Murakami Haruki.

  • Dangerous Bodies: Cross-Dressing, Asia, Transgression

    This course examines "dangerous bodies" - bodies that transgress existing gender and racial norms in Chinese and Sinophone cultures. Situated at the intersection of literary, film, performance, gender and ethnic studies, this course provides an introduction to the shifting social meanings of the body in relation to historical masculinity, femininity, and Chineseness.

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