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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Spring 2006

ANS 390 • Practice and Theory of Censorship

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29825 W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
PAR 210

Course Description

This seminar will examine the practice and theory of censorship through the examples of the most celebrated obscenity trials of literature and film in postwar Japan. Our primary focus will be to understand how the trials were both attempts to regulate sexual morality and to establish the place of art, artist, and audience in society. Case studies include the trials of translations of Western works, such as Lady Chatterley's Lover and the novels of Marquis de Sade, as well as native works of Japanese literature and film, such as Nagai Kafks "Behind the papering of the four-and-a-half mat room," and Oshima Nagisas In the Realm of the Senses. In the case of translations, we will compare the Japanese trials with the censorship of these works in England, the United States, and France. For broad comparative purposes, we will also consider censorship cases from diverse locations and time periods, including 19th century France, 1930s Hollywood, and contemporary Iran. The goal of our inquiry will be to understand how censorship trials both are informed by and, in turn, inform methods of literary and filmic interpretation, notions of authorship and authorial intent, and those of readership and spectatorship. We will combine close readings of censored texts and trial transcripts with theoretical readings on censorship, authorship, and audience. Reading knowledge of a foreign language is not required, but students will be expected to do research in their language of specialty if ability allows.

Grading Policy

Final paper (20 pages) including 1-2 page paper proposal (70%) Weekly response paper to readings (2 pages) (30%)


Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley's Lover, 1928. Rolfe, C.H., ed. The Trial of Lady Chatterley: Regina v. Penguin Books Limited. de Sade, Marquis. Juliette. Nagai Kafu. Behind the papering of the four-and-a-half mat room (Yojohan fusuma no shitabari (1); translation of both the 1917 and 1972 versions. Oshima Nagisa. Ai no koriida: Lempire des sens. Tokyo: Sanichi Shobo, 1976. Ai no koriida (dir. Oshima Nagisa, 1976). Lawson, Dawn, trans. Cinema, Censorship, and the State: The Writings of Nagisa Oshima, 1956-78. (excerpts) Beer, Lawrence Ward. Freedom of Expression in Japan: A Study in Comparative Law, Politics, and Society. (excerpts) Kendrick, Walter M. The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture. (excerpts) Williams, Linda. Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the 'Frenzy of the Visible. (excerpts) Napier, Susan. The Frenzy of Metamorphosis: The Body in Japanese Pornographic Animation, in Word and Image in Japanese Cinema. LaCapra, Dominick. Madame Bovary on Trial. Jacobs, Lea. The Wages of Sin: Censorship and the Fallen Woman Film 1928-1942. (excerpts) Additional readings to be announced


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