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

Kirsten Cather

Associate Professor Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Kirsten Cather

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-0031
  • Office: WCH 4.112
  • Office Hours: FALL 2014: T 2-3:30 Th 11-12:30
  • Campus Mail Code: G9300

Biography

Courses taught:

Lower-Division: “Introduction to Japanese Film” (ANS 301M); “Introduction to Japan” (ANS 302J).

Upper-Division: “Modern Japanese Literature in Translation” (ANS 361); “From Genji to Godzilla: Adaptations of the Japanese Classics”(ANS 320), “Suicide in Japanese Fiction” (ANS 361; Substantial Writing Component); "Art of Autobiography in Japan" (ANS 379).

 

Graduate: “Japanese Literature, Criticism, and Theory,” (ANS 383/JPN 384), “Readings in Japanese Literature“ (JPN 384), “Readings in Japanese: 20th Century Intellectuals” (JPN 384), “The Practice and Theory of Censorship” (ANS 390/CL 382), “Reading Japanese Literature in Japanese” (JPN 384/JPN 330).

Interests

Censorship of literature and film in modern Japan, modern adaptations of premodern Japanese literature, suicide and death in modern Japan.

ANS 302J • Introduction To Japan

30970 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 136
show description

This course offers an introduction to the culture, history, and society of Japan. The primary goal is to develop a broad understanding of Japanese cultural, political, and social identities. In addition to a variety of secondary sources that describe the historical period or topic we are discussing, we will focus on analyzing primary source materials (both non-fictional and fictional works, i.e. laws, memoirs, essays, fictional stories, films, art, theater, etc.) produced in the period to discover how intellectuals, citizens, lawmakers, and artists were negotiating the particular contexts in which they lived. The secondary goal of this course is to learn how to read these sources critically and analytically. The format of the course will include both lecture as well as small group and class discussions. This course provides an introductory foundation for students to go onto more specialized, upper-division courses in fields such as Japanese anthropology, art history, economics, film, history, international business, literature, political science, religion, and sociology.

ANS 379 • Art Of Autobiography In Jpn

31124 • Spring 2015
Meets M 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.216
show description

This seminar examines autobiographies written by prominent artists and intellectuals in Japan from the tenth century to the present to consider how they negotiated their lives and their legacies through the act of self-portraiture. We will look at how these works are informed by both the historical and cultural contexts in which they were written and by the genre itself. Examples will include works by highborn ladies-in-waiting and imperial consorts in the premodern era; samurai men who found their class on the verge of extinction in the mid-late 19th century; and yakuza and avant-garde artists in the 20th and 21st centuries. To consider how cultural context and generic form inform self-writing, we will also look at classic autobiographies in the West, such as the 1660 Diary of Samuel Pepys, in other Asian nations, such as the first autobiography in Hindi, Banarasidas’ Ardha-Kathanak (1601), and also autobiographies written by Westerners living in Japan. In order to consider in depth how the form or medium guides the content of these self-portraits, our objects of study will encompass a wide variety of mediums that go beyond the traditional book form to include paintings, lyric verse, songs, films, and comic books.

 

Readings (subject to change);

**Mishima Yukio, Confessions of a Mask (1949)

**Jun’ichi Saga, Confessions of a Yakuza: A Life in Japan’s Underworld (1989)

**Kusama Yayoi, Infinity Net (2011)

**Lady Kagerō, The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan (ca. 935)

**Katsu Kokichi, Musui’s Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai (1843)

** Hara Kazuo (dir.), Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974 (1974)

** Kurosawa Akira, Something Like an Autobiography (1981) and Dreams (1990)

 

ANS 301M • Intro To Japanese Film

31840 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm ART 1.120
show description

This course will offer a broad survey of Japanese cinema, including early silent films, fictional feature films, documentaries, and anime (animated films). The goals of this course are: to gain a familiarity with and appreciation for Japanese films and culture, to learn the basic history of Japanese cinema, to acquire the necessary vocabulary and tools for analyzing films as cinematic texts, and to develop critical thinking skills when viewing, discussing, and writing about film. This class requires no background in Japanese language, film, or history; all films are subtitled in English. Classes will include a lecture component, but will be heavily focused on whole class and small group discussions. Your consistent attendance and active participation are essential to the success of this class and your grade in it.

 

The basic general format will be as follows: each Tuesday, we will watch a new film beginning at 5 p.m. in PAR 203. In Thursday’s class, we will discuss the film, our reactions to it, the key issues it raises, etc. as an entire class and in small groups. On the following Tuesday, most weeks you will be assigned to read an article that relates to this film and/or the issues it raises; occasionally, you will instead or in addition have a homework assignment due in class (as indicated on the class schedule). In Tuesday’s class, we will discuss the film in the context of the readings and/or the assignment. Pop quizzes will often be held at the beginnings of class on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays to make sure that you’ve completed the viewings/readings and are in attendance. In addition, you will do frequent in-class assignments individually or in groups that help you develop the necessary skills of film analysis.

 

Most weeks there will be film screenings on Tuesdays starting at 5 p.m. This is your homework for the next class. You should plan on attending these, but if you have a legitimate excuse may watch the films on your own before class on Thursday.

 

Films will likely include:

Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai, Kurosawa Akira, 1954, 200 min., DVD 5759)

Tampopo (Itami Juzō, 1985, 114 min., DVD 107)

Fireworks (Hana-bi, Kitano “Beat” Takeshi, 1997, 103 min., DVD 713)

Sisters of the Gion (Gion no kyōdai, Mizoguchi Kenji, 1936, 66 min., VC 2762)

Late Spring (Banshun, Ozu Yasujiro, 1949, 108 min., DVD 4924)

Crazed Fruit (Kurutta kajitsu, 1956, Nakahira Kō, 86 min., DVD 4185)

Millenium Actress (Sennen joyū, 2001, Satoshi Kon, 87 min.)

The Neighbor’s Wife and Mine** (Madamu to nyōbō, Gosho Heinosuke, 1931)

Page of Madness (Kurutta ippeiji, Kinugasa Teinosuke, 1926, 60 min., VC 9429)

China Nights (Shina no yoru, Osamu Fushimizu, 1940, 124 min.)

The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (Yukiyukite shingun, Hara Kazuo, 1987, 120 min., DVD 6094)

Death by Hanging (Kōshikei, Ōshima Nagisa,1968, 117 min.)

ANS 372 • Mod Japanese Lit In Trans

31955 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 2.124
show description

This course looks at literature written by key Japanese authors in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will learn to read, think, discuss, and write about Japanese literature critically and analytically with attention to a work’s content, style, and form. Equally importantly, we will think about our own individual tastes in literature - why we read fiction and how. We'll also consider the socio-historical context of the production and reception of literature and how it deals with themes like the breakdown of tradition and the crisis of individualism; nostalgia and nationalism; war and cultural amnesia; “women’s literature”; sexuality, gender, and power; and the dynamics of cross-cultural influence. This is a small discussion-based class that requires the active and engaged participation of all class members to ensure its success.

 

Readings will include:

Sōseki, Natsume. Kokoro

Mishima, Yukio. Confessions of a Mask

Ooka, Shohei. Fires on the Plain

Goossen, Theodore W., ed. The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories

JPN 130D • Japanese Across Disciplines

32535 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 200pm-300pm CAL 221
show description

Reading and discussion of Japanese language materials related to the subject matter of another designated course in Asian studies. Meetings with the instructor will be devoted to the discussion of linguistic problems, literary features, and crucial passages.  May be repeated for credit.  Offered on the pass/fail basis only.  May not be counted toward fulfillment of the foreign language requirement for any bachelor's degree.  Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, concurrent enrollment in an appropriate Asian studies course, and written consent of instructor on form obtained from the undergraduate adviser.


ANS 379 • Art Of Autobiography In Japan

31910 • Fall 2013
Meets W 500pm-800pm CLA 0.124
show description

Please note that this course will meet W 5-8pm (time change form in process).

This seminar examines autobiographies written by prominent artists and intellectuals in Japan from the tenth century to the present to consider how they negotiated their lives and their legacies through the act of self-portraiture. We will look at how these works are informed by both the historical and cultural contexts in which they were written and by the genre itself. Examples will include works by highborn ladies-in-waiting and imperial consorts in the premodern era; samurai men who found their class on the verge of extinction in the mid-late 19th century; and avant-garde artists, filmmakers, and authors in the 20th and 21st centuries. To consider how cultural context and generic form inform self-writing, we will also look at classic autobiographies in the West, such as the 1660 Diary of Samuel Pepys, in other Asian nations, such as the first autobiography in Hindi, Banarasidas’ Ardha-Kathanak (1601), and also autobiographies written by Westerners living in Japan. In order to consider in depth how the form or medium guides the content of these self-portraits, our objects of study will encompass a wide variety of mediums that go beyond the traditional book form to include paintings, lyric verse, songs, films, and comic books.

 

Proposed Readings

Books to Purchase:

**Kusama Yayoi, Infinity Net (2011)

**Murasaki Shikibu, The Diary of Lady Murasaki (1010)

**Jun’ichi Saga, Confessions of a Yakuza: A Life in Japan’s Underworld (1989)

**Lady Kagerō, The Gossamer Years: the Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan (ca. 935)

**Lady Nijō, The Confessions of Lady Nijō (1307)

**Katsu Kokichi, Musui’s Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai (1843)

 

Course Reader with excerpts from:

Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, “Cogwheels,” “A Note to an Old Friend,” “A Fool’s Life” (1927)

Roland Barthes, Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes (1977)

Fukuzawa Yūkichi, The Autobiography of Fukuzawa Yukichi (1897)

Baroness Shidzue Ishimoto, Facing Two Ways: The story of my life (1936)

Fumiko Kaneko, The Prison Memoirs of a Japanese Woman (1926)

Hara Kazuo (dir.), Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974 (1974)

Kurosawa Akira, Something Like an Autobiography (1981) and Dreams (1990)

Philippe Lejeune, On Autobiography (1989)

Nakano Makiko. Makiko's Diary: A Merchant Wife in 1910 Kyoto

Paul de Man, “Autobiography as De-facement” (1979)

John Nathan, Living Carelessly in Tokyo and Elsewhere: A Memoir (2008)

Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader (1998)

Yamada Hanako, manga excerpts

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home, A Family Tragicomic (2006)

Mishima Yukio, Confessions of a Mask (1949)

John Treat, “AIDS Panic in Japan, or How to Have a Sabbatical in an Epidemic” (1994)

JPN 330 • Reading Japanese Literature

32533 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 330pm-500pm MEZ 1.118
(also listed as JPN 384 )
show description

Course Description:

In this class, we will read short stories in the original Japanese by representative 20th and 21st century authors. The focus of the course will be to improve literary reading skills, including overall comprehension and speed, as well as to develop the ability to do close readings of select passages. We will work on the art of translation and on analyzing the stories as literary works. Students will be expected both to gain competency at looking up words in the dictionary on their own and at working without dictionaries to achieve general comprehension.

Prerequisites: For JPN 330,JPN 320L or the equivalent with a grade of at least C. Graduate students require instructor’s permission to enroll in JPN 384.

 

Texts: (subject to change depending on student ability and interests)

All readings will be posted on Blackboard under Course Documents. Be sure to print out and bring with you to class regularly. 

Short stories & Essays by Japanese Authors

“Oyasuteyama,” in Nihon mukashi banashi (5 pgs.+)

Aoba Kōson (trans.), “Kuro neko” (1887) (excerpt, 1 pg.) along with Edgar Allen Poe, “The Black Cat,” [orig. 1843] in Complete Tales and Poems (New York: Vintage Books, 1975).

Natsume Sōseki, “Dai-ichi yoru” (4 pgs.) in Yume Jūya (1908); passage from Kokoro (1914)

Shiga Naoya, “Kinosaki ni te” (8 pgs.) (1917)

Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, “Me ni miru yō na bunsho” (1 pg.) (1920’s)

Kawabata Yasunari, “Shinjū” (2 pgs.) (1926); opening paragraph of Yukiguni (1935-47)

Enchi Fumiko, “Kimono” (3 pgs.) (1954)

Kanai Mieko, “Kikan” (5 pgs.) (1970)

Yū Miri, “Namae” and “Kika shita kazoku” (1990s)

 

Format of Classes:

The first 15 minutes or so of class will be spent discussing the work we read for that day in Japanese as a group. After that, we will identify difficult passages and work through them together and/or go through the work line-by-line with each of you offering the translations you have prepared in turn. 

For the first few weeks, we’ll work as an entire class to become familiar with common issues involved with reading and translating Japanese literature. After that, I’ll split you into groups based on ability so that you can work at a productive and appropriate level.

 

Grading:

Daily Class Preparation/Contribution (25%): On a regular basis I will assign you a grade for your class participation that day on a scale of 0-5 from poor to excellent. This will be based on how you perform on line-by-line translation exercises and homework, quizzes, and in-class group and individual exercises. Your two lowest grades will be dropped automatically.

Tests (approx. 5-7 total, 50%): We will have tests after finishing reading and discussing each story, or a cluster of stories when they are very short. These will test the development of your comprehension and translation skills.

Final translation project (25%): Each student’s final project must include a translation and some kind of commentary/analysis, but you have a great deal of freedom with these to tailor it to your own interests and abilities. All projects are subject to instructor’s prior approval. Due Monday, December 9th by midnight.

 

Grading will strongly take into account each student’s individual abilities and their progress and improvement over the course of the semester. 

JPN 384 • Reading Japanese Literature

32547 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 330pm-500pm MEZ 1.118
(also listed as JPN 330 )
show description

Course Description:

In this class, we will read short stories in the original Japanese by representative 20th and 21st century authors. The focus of the course will be to improve literary reading skills, including overall comprehension and speed, as well as to develop the ability to do close readings of select passages. We will work on the art of translation and on analyzing the stories as literary works. Students will be expected both to gain competency at looking up words in the dictionary on their own and at working without dictionaries to achieve general comprehension.

Prerequisites: For JPN 330,JPN 320L or the equivalent with a grade of at least C. Graduate students require instructor’s permission to enroll in JPN 384.

 

Texts: (subject to change depending on student ability and interests)

All readings will be posted on Blackboard under Course Documents. Be sure to print out and bring with you to class regularly. 

Short stories & Essays by Japanese Authors

“Oyasuteyama,” in Nihon mukashi banashi (5 pgs.+)

Aoba Kōson (trans.), “Kuro neko” (1887) (excerpt, 1 pg.) along with Edgar Allen Poe, “The Black Cat,” [orig. 1843] in Complete Tales and Poems (New York: Vintage Books, 1975).

Natsume Sōseki, “Dai-ichi yoru” (4 pgs.) in Yume Jūya (1908); passage from Kokoro (1914)

Shiga Naoya, “Kinosaki ni te” (8 pgs.) (1917)

Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, “Me ni miru yō na bunsho” (1 pg.) (1920’s)

Kawabata Yasunari, “Shinjū” (2 pgs.) (1926); opening paragraph of Yukiguni (1935-47)

Enchi Fumiko, “Kimono” (3 pgs.) (1954)

Kanai Mieko, “Kikan” (5 pgs.) (1970)

Yū Miri, “Namae” and “Kika shita kazoku” (1990s)

 

Format of Classes:

The first 15 minutes or so of class will be spent discussing the work we read for that day in Japanese as a group. After that, we will identify difficult passages and work through them together and/or go through the work line-by-line with each of you offering the translations you have prepared in turn. 

For the first few weeks, we’ll work as an entire class to become familiar with common issues involved with reading and translating Japanese literature. After that, I’ll split you into groups based on ability so that you can work at a productive and appropriate level.

 

Grading:

Daily Class Preparation/Contribution (25%): On a regular basis I will assign you a grade for your class participation that day on a scale of 0-5 from poor to excellent. This will be based on how you perform on line-by-line translation exercises and homework, quizzes, and in-class group and individual exercises. Your two lowest grades will be dropped automatically.

Tests (approx. 5-7 total, 50%): We will have tests after finishing reading and discussing each story, or a cluster of stories when they are very short. These will test the development of your comprehension and translation skills.

Final translation project (25%): Each student’s final project must include a translation and some kind of commentary/analysis, but you have a great deal of freedom with these to tailor it to your own interests and abilities. All projects are subject to instructor’s prior approval. Due Monday, December 9th by midnight.

 

Grading will strongly take into account each student’s individual abilities and their progress and improvement over the course of the semester. 

ANS 301M • Introduction To Japanese Film

31645 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WCH 4.118
show description

This course will offer a broad survey of Japanese cinema, including early silent films, fictional feature films, documentaries, and anime (animated films). The goals of this course are: to gain a familiarity with and appreciation for Japanese films and culture, to learn the basic history of Japanese cinema, to acquire the necessary vocabulary and tools for analyzing films as cinematic texts, and to develop critical thinking skills when viewing, discussing, and writing about film. This class requires no background in Japanese language, film, or history; all films are subtitled in English. Classes will include a lecture component, but will be heavily focused on both whole class and small group discussions and in-class work. Your consistent attendance and active participation are essential to your success in this class. 

The basic general format will be as follows: each Tuesday, we will watch a new film beginning at 5 p.m. in MEZ B.0306. In Thursday’s class, we will discuss the film, our reactions to it, the key issues it raises, etc. as an entire class and in small groups. On the following Tuesday, most weeks you will be assigned to read an article that relates to this film and/or the issues it raises; occasionally, you will instead or in addition have a homework assignment due in class. In Tuesday’s class, we will discuss the film in the context of the readings and/or the assignment. Pop quizzes will be held often at the beginnings of class on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays to make sure that you’ve completed the viewings/readings and are in attendance. In addition, you will occasionally be assigned homework (as indicated on the class schedule) and in-class assignments that help you develop the necessary skills of film analysis.

ANS 320 • Genji To Godzilla

31660 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 136
show description

In this course, we will focus on “classics” of Japanese literature, film, and theater that have engendered countless adaptations over the years. Our texts will range from the eleventh-century The Tale of Genji to the 1954 B-movie Godzilla; from medieval Noh plays to contemporary manga (comic books) and anime (animated films). We will consider how and why modern artists repeatedly turned to the “classics" for creative inspiration. We will look at how the adaptation process has been influenced by a number of factors, including the cultural, political, and gendered identity of the artist, and how it has been shaped by differences in genre and medium. Our goal is to become familiar with a wide range of Japanese literary and cultural texts, including premodern, modern, and contemporary literature, film, and popular culture; and to learn to think, discuss, and write critically on the process of adaptation by considering not only content, but also form and socio-historical context. This class requires no background in Japanese language, film, or history; all literature will be read in translation and all films are subtitled in English.

This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

ANS 361 • Mod Japanese Lit In Translat

31605 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 1.208
show description

This course examines literature written by Japanese authors in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will learn to read, think, discuss, and write about Japanese literature critically and analytically with attention to a work’s content, style, and form, as well as the socio-historical context of its production and reception. Topics include the breakdown of tradition and the crisis of individualism; nostalgia and nationalism; war and cultural amnesia; “women’s literature”; sexuality, gender, and power; and the dynamics of cross-cultural influence.

 

Required Texts/Readings:

1) The following books (* on schedule) are available for purchase at the Co-op. You are welcome to purchase them from used bookstores or on-line instead, but be sure to get the same version (cross-check the ISBN #) so that we can all refer to the same page numbers for class discussions and papers.

Sōseki, Natsume. Kokoro (Gateway Editions). ISBN #:  978-0895267153

Ooka, Shohei. Fires on the Plain (Tuttle Publishing). 978-0804813792

Goossen, Theodore W., ed. The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories (Oxford UP). 978-0199583195

Murakami, Haruki. Norwegian Wood (Vintage Edition). 978-0375704024.

2) Additional short stories and supplementary secondary readings (marked with – below) will be made available.

ANS 386 • Suicidal Authors East And West

31737 • Fall 2012
Meets F 200pm-500pm PAR 214
show description

If autobiographies are retrospective accounts of one’s life, what to call stories that foretell one’s death by suicide? For a literary artist, what does it mean to script one’s suicide? For the critic or reader? This seminar examines famous authors who committed suicide in the West (U.S. and Britain) and in Japan: from Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, and David Foster Wallace in the U.S. and Britain to Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, Dazai Osamu, Mishima Yukio, Nobel-prize winning author Kawabata Yasunari, as well as recent pop-culture icons in the manga and heavy metal band worlds. We will read a variety of fictional and non-fictional texts by these prominent artists who committed suicide, as well as key texts on suicide in the disciplines of philosophy, literary criticism, psychology, and suicidology.

 

This seminar will examine writings by and about these prominent suiciders in Japan and in the West to consider the relationship between art and suicide. What does it mean for suicide, the death and destruction of the body, to be a productive, creative force for art? How does suicide inform these authors’ writings? How do their suicides affect the reception of their works in their respective countries of origin? And what can this tell us about the perception of the role and responsibilities of art and the artist and of the act of suicide in these nations? We will consider a wide range of factors including gender, literary influences and schools of thought including naturalism and romanticism, the ethics of suicide and of producing and consuming “suicidal literature,” notions of contagion and catharsis, and questions of intellectual property rights. 

 

Proposed Readings: exact texts to be determined according to students’ fields/interests

Alfred Alvarez, The Savage God: A Study of Suicide (1971)

Jean Améry, On Suicide (1975)

Jeffrey Berman, Surviving Literary Suicide (1999)

Jacques Derrida, The Work of Mourning (orig. ????, 2001)

Emile Durkheim, Suicide (Le Suicide, 1897)

Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)

Ernest Hemingway, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” For Whom the Bell Tolls

Sylvia Plath, “Daddy,” “Lady Lazarus,” “Edge,” The Bell Jar (1963) excerpts

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

David Foster Wallace, Oblivion: Stories (2004); The Pale King (2010)

Kroll, Judith.  Chapters in a Mythology: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath (orig. 1976, w/updated foreword in 2007)

Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, “Cogwheels,” “A Note to an Old Friend,” “A Fool’s Life” (1927)

Dazai Osamu, “Leaves” (1938), “Female” (1936), No Longer Human (1948) and Good-Bye (unfinished)

Kawabata Yasunari, Palm of the Hand selections

Mishima Yukio, Patriotism (1966), Sun and Steel: Art, Action, and Ritual Death (1968)

Allan Stephen Wolf, Suicidal Narrative in Modern Japan: The Case of Dazai Osamu (1990). 

Shimao Toshio, The Departure that Never Came (Shuppatsu wa tsui ni otozurezu, 1962)

Robert Jay Lifton et al., Six Lives, Six Deaths (1979)

Oba Minako “Double Suicide, A Japanese Phenomenon” (1975)

Maurice Pinguet, Voluntary Death in Japan (1993)

Yoshitomo Takahashi, “Cultural Dynamics and the Unconscious in Suicide in Japan” (1996)

 

Grading
Participation and Contribution (10%)

Weekly Response Papers (20%)

Final Oral Presentation (10%)

ANS 320 • Genji To Godzilla

31685 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 420
show description

In this course, we will focus on “classics” of Japanese literature, film, and theater that have engendered countless adaptations over the years. Our texts will range from the eleventh-century The Tale of Genji to the 1954 B-movie Godzilla; from medieval Noh plays to contemporary manga (comic books) and anime (animated films). We will consider how and why modern artists repeatedly turned to the “classics" for creative inspiration. We will look at how the adaptation process has been influenced by a number of factors, including the cultural, political, and gendered identity of the artist, and how it has been shaped by differences in genre and medium. Our goal is to become familiar with a wide range of Japanese literary and cultural texts, including premodern, modern, and contemporary literature, film, and popular culture; and to learn to think, discuss, and write critically on the process of adaptation by considering not only content, but also form and socio-historical context. This class requires no background in Japanese language, film, or history; all literature will be read in translation and all films are subtitled in English.

This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

ANS 361 • Suicide In Japanese Fiction

31725 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm RLM 7.112
(also listed as C L 323 )
show description

This course will examine works of Japanese literature and visual culture (including poetry, novels, plays, films, and manga) to analyze how artists grappled with themes of suicide in their works, and sometimes in their lives, in response to both personal and national tragedies. We will discuss the ethics and politics of artistic representations of suicide when it is precipitated by such diverse contexts as failed romances, military honor, and disillusionment and depression. We will also consider how these works provoke questions about the responsibilities of the artist and audience in society. This class requires no background in Japanese language or culture; all readings are in English translation.

ANS 361 • Mod Japanese Lit In Translat

31485 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 1.208
show description

This course examines literature written by Japanese authors in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will learn to read, think, discuss, and write about Japanese literature critically and analytically with attention to a work’s content, style, and form, as well as the socio-historical context of its production and reception. Topics include the breakdown of tradition and the crisis of individualism; nostalgia and nationalism; war and cultural amnesia; “women’s literature”; sexuality, gender, and power; and the dynamics of cross-cultural influence. Authors include Natsume Soseki, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, Mishima Yukio, and Murakami Haruki. 

ANS 301M • Introduction To Japanese Film

31735 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.132
show description

This course will offer a broad survey of Japanese cinema, including early silent films,fictional feature films, documentaries, and anime (animated films). The goals of thiscourse are: to gain a familiarity with and appreciation for Japanese films and culture, tolearn the basic history of Japanese cinema, to acquire the necessary vocabulary andtools for analyzing films as cinematic texts, and to develop critical thinking skills whenviewing, discussing, and writing about film. This class requires no background inJapanese language, film, or history; all films are subtitled in English.

THE FILM SCREENING TIME IS TUESDAY EVENINGS, 2-5 p.m. in PAR 203

TEXTS:

Richie, Donald. A Hundred Years of Japanese Film. Tokyo: Kodansha Int’l, 2001.

 

ANS 383 • Japanese Lit, Criticism, Thry

31985 • Spring 2011
Meets T 200pm-500pm PAR 305
show description

Japanese Lit, Criticism, Thry

ANS 302J • Introduction To Japan

30645 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
show description

This course offers an introduction to the culture, history, and society of Japan. The primary goal is to develop a broad understanding of Japanese cultural, political, and societal identities. In addition to a variety of secondary sources that describe the historical period or topic we are discussing, we will focus on analyzing primary source materials (both non-fictional and fictional works, i.e. laws, memoirs, essays, fictional stories, films, art, theater, etc.) produced in the period to discover how intellectuals, citizens, lawmakers, and artists were negotiating the particular contexts in which they lived. The secondary goal of this course is to learn how to read these sources critically and analytically. The format of the course will include both lecture as well as small group and class discussions. This course provides an introductory foundation for students to go onto more specialized, upper-division courses in fields such as Japanese anthropology, art history, economics, film, history, international business, literature, political science, religion, and sociology.

 

TEXTS:

A Brief History of Japanese Civilization (Conrad Schirokauer et al., 2006) Wadsworth Publishing; 2nd edition. ISBN  978-0618915224.

Musui's Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai (Katsu Kokichi, 1843) Trans. Teruko Craig. University of Arizona Press, 1991 (paperback). ISBN:  978-0816512560. 

Readings posted on Blackboard.

 

GRADING:

In-class quizzes and group work = 15%

Media Watch Assignment = 5%

Midterm Tests (two total; 20% each) = 40%

Final Exam = 40%



ANS 361 • Mod Japanese Lit In Translat

30735 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 330pm-500pm JES A215A
show description

This course examines literature written by Japanese authors in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will learn to read, think, discuss, and write about Japanese literature critically and analytically with attention to a work’s content, style, and form, as well as the socio-historical context of its production and reception. Topics include the breakdown of tradition and the crisis of individualism; nostalgia and nationalism; war and cultural amnesia; “women’s literature”; sexuality, gender, and power; and the dynamics of cross-cultural influence. 

ANS 361 • Suicide In Japanese Fiction-W

30960 • Spring 2010
Meets F 900-1200 JES A307A
show description

 Suicide in Japanese Fiction (ANS 361; #30960)

Spring 2010, Fridays 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (JES A307A)

Instructor: Kirsten Cather (WCH 5.104B), kcather@mail.utexas.edu

Office Hours: Friday 12-1:30 p.m. or by appointment

 

This course will examine works of Japanese literature and visual culture (including poetry, novels, plays, films, and manga) to analyze how artists grappled with themes of suicide in their works, and sometimes in their lives, in response to both personal and national tragedies. We will discuss the ethics and politics of artistic representations of suicide when it is precipitated by such diverse contexts as failed romances, military honor, and disillusionment and depression. We will also consider how these works provoke questions about the responsibilities of the artist and audience in society. This class requires no background in Japanese language or culture; all readings are in English translation.  

 

Expectations:

As a writing-intensive upper-division seminar, this class will require your active and full-fledged preparation, participation, and engagement to succeed. Because we meet only once a week, it will also require that you manage your time well, spreading out reading and writing assignments over the course of the week so you don’t find yourself at a loss on Thursday evenings. Each week, we will start promptly at 9 a.m. with a short quiz in the first 5-10 minutes of class to check attendance and that you have done the readings (absolutely no make-ups or late takes) and we’ll take a short break sometime during the middle. Classes will be a mixture of class and small group discussion and in-class assignments and writing exercises. It is essential that you bring with you to class each week a hard copy of all your readings that should be heavily marked up with your notes, questions, opinions, thoughts, etc. In addition, you will need a packet of 3”X5” index cards for quizzes and in-class exercises, which will only be graded if turned in on an index card.

 

Grading Breakdown:

In-class quizzes, exercises, and homework: 10% TOTAL

The quizzes will be simple checks to see if you have completed the readings (and made it to class on time). You will need to use your 3”X5” index cards or the quiz will not be graded. The in-class exercises and homework will be graded based on your degree of effort and engagement. Absolutely no make-ups allowed, but your lowest grade will be automatically dropped.

Personal Response Essays* (3 total X 5% each) = 15% TOTAL

2-page personal responses to assigned texts based on a set of guiding questions.

Analytical Essays* (2 total x 15% each) = 30% TOTAL

3-4 page formal analytical papers covering Units One and Two respectively.

Final Paper* = 30% TOTAL

1-2 paragraph abstract and 1st draft (4-5 pages) = 10%

Final expanded and revised version (7-8 pages) = 20%

Final Project = 10%

A chance to draw connections across units to synthesize the material we have covered in class in a creative way of your choice. (details TBA)

Participation/Contribution: 5%

Note that this is based on both your participation (active engagement in all classes) and contribution (quality of your participation) rather than merely on attending classes, although one percentage point will be automatically deducted for each unexcused absence.

*For detailed instructions on all papers, see Guidelines for ANS 361 Papers on BB under Assignments

 

Grading Policy

Grades will be assigned according to the UT +/- system. As a rule, I do not grade on a curve or round up grades. If you receive an 89, you will receive a B+. One exception to this rule is that a grade that is very close to the next grade level, such as an 89.8 or 79.9, may be rounded up to the higher grade if the student has consistently attended class and participated fully in class discussions. No extra credit assignments.

 

Standards and Expectations:

Careful and thorough reading and viewing of the assigned texts by the date indicated on the schedule. Reading texts and viewing films require your active engagement with the text. Merely highlighting or skimming these will not be sufficient for close analysis. Detailed note-taking is essential and you must bring your readings and notes with you to class.

Attendance at all classes and active and considerate participation in class and group discussions. Common courtesy is expected. Sleepers and disruptive students will be asked to leave. No one will be allowed to monopolize the class discussion or to shrink into the background.

Timely completion of quizzes, assignments, and papers. No make-up quizzes will be given without exception. For assignments and papers, extensions will be granted in only very rare cases for legitimate reasons (i.e. religious holidays), but even in these cases, arrangements must be made with the instructor one week prior to the examination date. Last-minute family or medical emergencies will be considered, but no guarantees and will require a note as well as e-mail or telephone notification prior to the class period.

 

Official UT Policies

Academic integrity: You are expected to adhere to university requirements on academic honesty and integrity. Behaviors, such as plagiarism, copying of another student’s work, or cheating on an exam, are serious offenses that will result in the grade of an “F” for the course and will be reported to the office of Student Judicial Services, where further disciplinary action may be taken. Please refer to the following website for information on how to avoid plagiarism in your work and/or discuss this with the instructor: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/acint_student.php

University Electronic Notification Mail Policy: In this course, e-mail will be used as a means of communication with students. You will be responsible for checking your e-mail regularly for class announcements and assignments. As per the University Electronic Notification Policy (please see http://www.utexas.edu/its/policies/emailnotify.html), it is your responsibility to update your email address and to check your e-mail regularly.

Accommodations for Students with Documented Disabilities: Students who require special accommodations need to get a letter that documents the disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6529 voice or 471-4641 TTY). This letter should be presented to the instructor at the beginning of the semester so that appropriate

      accommodations can be made at that time. For more information, see: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/ssd/

Use of Blackboard in Class: Many of our readings will be available on blackboard. You should always print these out and bring with you to class. Please allow yourself enough time before an assignment is due. As with all computer systems, there are occasional scheduled downtimes as well as unanticipated disruptions. Blackboard is available at http://courses.utexas.edu. Support is provided by the ITS Help Desk at 475-9400 during business hours on weekdays.

Religious Holidays: If you will need to miss class, tests, or other assignments due to the observance of a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the work you have missed provided you notify me at least one week prior to the absence.

 

Required Texts/Materials to Purchase:

**Ch?shingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers (Takeda Izumo et al., 1748)

**Kokoro (Natsume S?seki, 1914)

--Reader available for purchase (as of Fri. 1/29) at Jenn’s Copy Shop NORTH (2518 Guadalupe) 482-0779

--Supplementary Readings on Blackboard (TBA)

--Packet of 3”X5” index cards


Schedule as of January 19, 2010 (subject to change; updated version posted on blackboard):

Notes: 1) All Japanese authors are listed with last name first following the Japanese practice; for

            cases where an author goes by their penname (first name), that name is underlined.

            2) Numbered readings available in Reader (or on Blackboard). Books marked with ** available

                  at the Co-Op for purchase. Videos available for viewing at the Fine Arts Library marked with ~.

 

Unit One: Love Suicides

Week One (Jan. 22)

Introduction

In-class assignment: Freewrite on Suicide & Japan

[In-class reading: Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare, ca. 1595)]

~In-class screening: Double Suicide (Shinj? Ten no Amijima, dir. Shinoda Masahiro, 1969, 105 min.)

 

Week Two (Jan. 29th): Premodern and Early Modern Love Suicides

1) Kojiki (ca. 712) excerpt

2) Many?sh? (ca. 759), Maiden of Unai poems # 574-76; #837-38, p. 317-21; 469-71

3) “The Love Suicides at Amijima” (Chikamatsu Monzaemon, 1721), p. 170-208

Personal Response Essay #1 Due (5% of grade)

 

Week Three (Feb. 5): Love Suicides, Modern Style

4) Oba, “Double Suicide, A Japanese Phenomenon” (1975), p. 344-50

5) Takahashi, “Cultural Dynamics and the Unconscious in Suicide in Japan” (1996), p. 1-9

6) “Love Suicide at Kamaara” (Yoshida Sueko, 1984), p. 213-33

7) “Landscape with Flatiron” (Murakami Haruki, 1999), p. 1-16

Personal Response Essay #2 Due (5% of grade)

[In-class exercise: “Love Suicides” (Kawabata Yasunari, 1926), p. 53-54]

 

Unit Two: Warrior Suicides

Week Four (Feb. 12): Premodern and Early Modern Warrior Suicide

8) The Tale of the Heike (1185) excerpts

9) The Great Mirror of Male Love (Iharu Saikaku, 1687), “Introduction” and excerpts (1-5; 27-34)

**Ch?shingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers (Takeda Izumo et al., 1748)

 

Week Five (Feb. 19)

~In-class screening of Hara-Kiri (dir. Kobayashi Masaki, 1963) (133 min.)

Analytical Paper #1 on Unit One Due (15% of grade)

 

Week Six (Feb. 26): Warrior Suicide, Modern Style – His and Hers

10) Lifton, “Nogi Maresuke: The Emperor’s Samurai” (1979), p. 29-66 (you can skim p. 35-56)

11) Kamikaze letters excerpts

12) “Iron Fish” (K?no Taeko, 1976), p. 362-74

13) “February 26th Incident,” Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, p. 359-60

14) “Patriotism” (Mishima Yukio, 1966) (p. 93-118)

 

Week Seven (March 5): Mishima Yukio

15) Secondary readings on Mishima (TBA)

~In-class screening of Patriotism (dir. Mishima Yukio, 1967)

Analytical Paper #2 on Unit Two Due (15% of grade)

 

Week Eight (March 19):  OFF SPRING BREAK

Unit Three: Writing, Writers, and Suicide – Scripting Suicide

Week Nine (March 26)

**Kokoro (Natsume S?seki, 1914)

16) Orbaugh, “General Nogi’s Wife” (1996)

 

Week Ten (April 2): Akutagawa Ry?nosuke

17) “A Fool’s Life” (Akutagawa Ry?nosuke, 1927), p. 177-203

18) “Cogwheels” (Akutagawa Ry?nosuke, 1927), p. 141-75

19) “A Note to an Old Friend” (Akutagawa Ry?nosuke, 1927), 1-3

20) Secondary readings on Akutagawa (TBA)

 

Week Eleven (April 9) - Dazai Osamu

21) “Leaves” (Dazai Osamu, 1938), p. 31-41

22) “Female” (Dazai Osamu, 1936), p. 43-52

23) “Putting Granny Out to Die” (Dazai Osamu, 1938), p. 97-113

24) "Metamorphosis," (Dazai Osamu, 1933), p. 285-88

25) Keene, “Dazai Osamu,” p. 1027-28

26) Secondary readings on Dazai (TBA)

Paper Abstract Due

 

Week Twelve (April 16): – The Ethics of Literal, Literary Suicides

27) Alvarez, The Savage God excerpts

28) Berman, Surviving Literary Suicide excerpts

In-class: View clips of The Bridge (dir. Eric Steel, 2006)

Personal Response Essay #3 Due (5% of grade)

 

Week Thirteen (April 23): Youth Suicide in Contemporary Japanese Pop Culture

29) Suicide Circle manga (Furuya Usumaru, 2001)

30) Samuels, “Let’s Die Together: Why is Anonymous Group Suicide So Popular in Japan” (May 2007), p. 1-9

31) Japan Today, “Suicide Rate Soars in Japan” (Nov. 29, 2005), p. 1-8

[In-class clips from Suicide Circle film (dir. Sono Sion, 2002) and Noriko’s Dinner Table (Sono Sion, 2005]

 

Week Fourteen (April 30):

To be determined

First Draft Paper Due (10% of grade with abstract)

 

Week Fifteen (May 7) LAST CLASS DAY

Final Project Presentations

 

 

Final Paper (20% of grade) due during Final Exam Period on Wednesday May 12th by noon

ANS 301M • Introduction To Japanese Film

30970 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm JES A303A
show description

Discussion of various problems involving language, history, and culture in Asia.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Some topics partially fulfill legislative requirement for American history.

ANS 302J • Introduction To Japan

31040 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1000-1100 PAR 203
show description

 1 

Introduction to Japan (ANS 302J; # 31040) 

Fall 2009, MWF 10:00-11:00 a.m. (PAR 203) 

Instructor: Kirsten Cather, (WCH 5.104B), kcather@mail.utexas.edu  

Cather Office Hours: Mon. 11-12:30; Wed. 3-4 p.m., or by appointment 

Teaching Assistant: Duc Huynh, dhuynh1@mail.utexas.edu 

Huynh Office Hours: WF 11-12 (WNB 1.114) 

 

Description: 

This course offers an introduction to the culture, history, and society of Japan. The primary goal is 

to develop a broad understanding of Japanese cultural, political, and social identities. In addition to 

a variety of secondary sources that describe the historical period or topic we are discussing, we will 

focus on analyzing primary source materials (both non-fictional and fictional works, i.e. laws, 

memoirs, essays, fictional stories, films, art, theater, etc.) produced in the period to discover how 

intellectuals, citizens, lawmakers, and artists were negotiating the particular contexts in which they 

lived. The secondary goal of this course is to learn how to read these sources critically and 

analytically. The format of the course will include both lecture as well as small group and class 

discussions. This course provides an introductory foundation for students to go onto more 

specialized, upper-division courses in fields such as Japanese anthropology, art history, 

economics, film, history, international business, literature, political science, religion, and sociology. 

 

 

Required Texts/Readings: 

1) Ch?shingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers: A Puppet Play (Takeda Izumo et al., 1748). 

Trans. Donald Keene. Columbia University Press, 1997 (paperback). ISBN:  978-0231035316   

2) All other readings will be posted on Blackboard under Course Documents. You should print 

these out so that you can read carefully, take thorough notes, and bring with you to class.  

3) A pack of 3”X5” index cards to be used for in-class pop quizzes. You must use a 3”x5” index 

card for these quizzes or they will not be graded. 

 

Optional Text (available at Co-Op): 

1) Japanese Aesthetics and Culture (Suny Series on Asian Studies Development) (Nancy G. 

Hume, ed.) ISBN:  978-0791424001.   

 

 

Grading: 

In-class quizzes and group work = 25% 

--Pop quizzes will be given fairly often at unannounced times usually at the start of the class during 

the first couple of minutes, but occasionally, they will be given in the middle or at the end of lecture. 

You will need to use your 3”X5” index cards or the quiz will not be graded. Their purpose is 

threefold: to track attendance, to check if you have done the reading assignments, and to see if 

you have been paying attention to the lecture. If you get the answer right, you get 5 out of 5 points. 

If wrong, 2.5 out of 5 points as credit for attending class. If you fail to turn it in, you get 0 out of 5 

points. Your lowest two quiz scores will be automatically dropped, but absolutely no make-ups 

allowed. Answers will be given orally immediately following the quiz so that you’ll be able to 

calculate your score. Quizzes will not be returned. (25% of your total grade) 

 

 

 2 

Midterm Tests (two total; 20% each) = 40% 

There will be two mid-term tests on Week 5 and Week 10. Each of these will cover only the 

material covered (in readings, lecture, and discussion) during the previous five weeks alone. No 

make-ups allowed. If you do not show, you will receive a “0” for the test. 

 

Final exam = 35%  

The final exam will be cumulative covering material from the entire semester on Dec. 15th, 9 a.m. – 

noon. No make-ups allowed. If you do not show, you will receive a “0” for the test. 

 

 

Standards and Expectations: 

Careful and thorough reading of the assigned texts by the date indicated on the schedule. Reading 

requires your active engagement with the text. Merely highlighting or skimming these will not 

be sufficient for close analysis. Detailed note-taking is essential and you must bring your copy 

of the reading to class.  

Attendance at all classes and considerate and attentive listening to the lecture. Sleepers and 

disruptive students will be asked to leave.  

Active and considerate participation in class and group discussions. Common courtesy is 

expected.  

Timely completion of assignments and examinations. No make-up tests will be given. Extensions 

will be granted in only very rare cases for legitimate reasons (i.e. religious holidays), but even 

in these cases, arrangements must be made with the instructor one week prior to the 

examination date. Last-minute family or medical emergencies will be considered, but no 

guarantees and will require proof of emergency. No exceptions. 

Announcements of schedule changes and/or homework assignments may be made in the previous 

class. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to find out what has been assigned. Please feel 

free to contact me by e-mail at kcather@mail.utexas.edu or the Teaching Assistant, Duc 

Huynh, at dhuynh1@mail.utexas.edu. 

 

Grading Policy 

Grades are assigned as follows: 97-100 = A+; 93-96 = A; 90-92 = A-; 87-89 = B+; 83-86 = B; 80-82 

= B-; 77-79 = C+; 73-76 = C; 70-72 = C-; 67-69 = D+; 63-66 = D; 60-62 = D-; below 60 = F. As 

a rule, I do not grade on a curve or round up grades. If you receive an 89, you will receive a 

B+. One exception to this rule is that a grade that is very close to the next grade level, such as 

an 89.8 or 79.9, may be rounded up to the higher grade if the student has consistently 

attended class and participated fully in class discussions. There are no extra credit 

assignments for this class. 

 3 

Schedule (subject to change; updated version posted on blackboard): 

Readings are marked with a – and should be completed by the day listed on the schedule.  

Note: All authors are listed with last name first following the Japanese practice. 

 

First Meetings (Aug. 26 & 28) 

Wed: Introduction 

Fri: Lecture on Place and People 

 --Map of Japan at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/japan.jpg 

 --A Brief History of Japanese Civilization, pp. 1-6 

 

Week One (Aug. 31, Sept. 2, Sept. 4) – Origins & Early State Building in Nara Period (712-793) 

Mon: --Kojiki (712) excerpts pp. 37-86  

Wed: --Sh?toku Taishi 17 article “constitution” (604) 

 http://mll.kenyon.edu/~japanese02/J28sp99/projects/hinckley/1/prince_shotoku2.html 

 --Sh?toku Taishi “Introduction,” 1  

Fri:  --Man’y?sh? (ca. 759), excerpts 

 

Week Two (Sept 7 (off), 9 & 11) – Heian Period (794-1185) – Court Culture and Women’s Writing 

Mon: OFF (Labor Day holiday) 

Wed:  --Michitsuna no Haha, The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan 

(ca. 974), pp. 33-69 

Fri: --Mandel, Gabriele. “Introduction,” in Japanese Alphabet, pp. 11-13; 18-25; 30-33, 42-43 

 --Bowring, Richard. “The Female Hand in Heian Japan: A First Reading” pp. 49-56 

 

Week Three (Sept. 14, 16, 18): Kamakura Period (1185-1333): Samurai and Suicide 

Mon: --The Tale of the Heike (ca. 1185) excerpts Ch. 4, #11. 15, 16, 19; addt’l handouts 

Wed: continue discussion of Heike 

 [In-class show clips of Sukiyaki Western Django (dir. Miike Takashi, 2007)] 

Fri:  Lecture on Edo-period ukiyoe, pleasure quarters, and haikai 

 

Week Four (Sept. 21, 23, 25): Edo period: Consolidation and Isolation 

Mon:  --Takeda Izumo et al., Ch?shingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, (1748), pp. 29-180   

Wed: Continue Ch?shingura discussion 

Fri: --Musui's Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai (Katsu Kokichi, 1843) 

excerpts 

 Wrap-up discussion of samurai 

 

Week Five (Sept. 28, 30, Oct. 2) 

Mon: Review session for Test #1 

Wed: Test #1 

Fri: In-class film screening (TBA)  

 

Week Six (Oct. 5, 7, 9) – Encounters with the West and the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912) 

Mon: --Kanagaki Robun, Beefeater excerpt p. 31-33 

 --The Japanese Discovery of America (1853) excerpts 

Wed: --Fukuzawa Yukichi, An Encouragement of Learning excerpts (1872) 

--Intellectuals on women’s rights (TBA)  

 4 

Fri: In-class watch documentary The Meiji Revolution: Asia's Response to the West (Pacific 

Basin Institute, 1992, 60 min.) 

 

Week Seven (Oct. 12, 14, 16): Taish? Period (1912-26) Cosmopolitanism to Prewar Repression, 

Militarism, and Nationalism 

Mon:  discuss Meiji Revolution video  

 --Yosano Akiko, “Beloved, You Must Not Die (1905),” pp. 302-03; “An Open Letter” (1904), 

pp. 333-39 

Wed: --“Momotar?” legend & propaganda 

Fri: --Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows (1933), pp. 1-42 

  [In-class clips of The Neighbor’s Wife and Mine (Gosho Heinosuke, 1931)] 

 

Week Eight (Oct. 19, 21, 23) – Encountering the West, again: WWII, the A-bomb, the Emperor, and 

the Occupation 

Mon: In-class watch A-bomb video  

Wed: --A-bomb poems: T?ge Sankichi, “Season of Flames,” pp. 327-330; Kurihara Sadako, “Let 

us be midwives” (1945), Yamada Kazuko, “Wailing” 

 --Barefoot Gen (manga 1973-85) 

Fri: --“Text of Japan’s Two Constitutions (The 1889 Meiji Constitution and The 1946 Postwar 

Constitution)” (158-71) 

 

Week Nine (Oct. 26, 28, 30)  

Mon: --?e, “Human Sheep” (1958), pp. 167-77  

Wed:  In-class screening of Japan, Inc. 

 --Kojima Nobuo, “American School” (1954), pp. 120-44 

Fri: Mishima Yukio readings TBA 

 

Week Ten (Nov. 2, 4, 6)  

Mon:  Review session for test #2 

Wed: Test #2 

Fri:  In-class screen Family Game (dir. Morita Yoshimitsu, 1983) 

 

Week Eleven (Nov. 9, 11, 13): Contemporary Issues: Education, Corporations, Gender, Int’l 

Relations 

Mon: Finish screening Family Game 

Wed:  discuss Family Game 

  -- Learning to go to school in Japan (Lois Peak, 1991), excerpts 

Fri: --“Changing Japanese Families” (Akiko Hashimoto & John W. Traphagan, 2008), pp. 1-12 

 --“You are doing burikko!: Censoring Scrutinizing Artificers of Cute Femininity in Japanese” 

(Laura Miller, 2004, pp. 148-62) 

 

Week Twelve (Nov. 16, 18, 20) 

Mon:  --Office Ladies and Salaried Men excerpts (Yuko Ogasawara, 1998) 

Wed:  Yasukuni & comfort women readings (TBA) 

Fri:  --“Is ‘Japan’ Still a Big Family? Nationality and Citizenship at the Edge of the Japanese  

  Archipelago” (Mariko Asano Tamanoi, 2008, pp. 111-35)  

 

 5 

Week Thirteen (Nov. 23 & 25; Fri. OFF):  

Mon:  Guest lecturer: Maeri Megumi on Japanese Religions  

 --"Japanese Religions" in Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions (2005) 

Wed:  In-class screening of The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief (dir. Jake  

 Clennell, 2006, 75 min.) 

 --Enj? k?sai readings (TBA) 

Fri:  OFF Thanksgiving 

 

Week Fourteen (Nov. 30, Dec. 2 & 4) 

Mon: --“Ethnography of a Hostess Club,” in Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate 

Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club excerpts (Anne Allison, 1994), pp. 32-76 

Wed: Topic TBD 

Fri: Final Wrap-up 

 

 

FINAL EXAM – Dec. 15th, 9 a.m. – noon 

 

 

Official Policies 

Academic integrity: You are expected to adhere to university requirements on academic honesty 

and integrity. Behaviors, such as plagiarism, copying of another student’s work, or cheating on 

an exam, are serious offenses that will result in the grade of an “F” for the course and will be 

reported to the office of Student Judicial Services, where further disciplinary action may be 

taken. Please refer to the following website for information on how to avoid plagiarism in your 

work and/or discuss this with the instructor: 

http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/acint_student.php 

University Electronic Notification Mail Policy: In this course, e-mail will be used as a means of 

communication with students. You will be responsible for checking your e-mail regularly for 

class announcements and assignments. As per the University Electronic Notification Policy 

(please see http://www.utexas.edu/its/policies/emailnotify.html), it is your responsibility to 

update your email address and to check your e-mail regularly. 

Accommodations for Students with Documented Disabilities: Students who require special 

accommodations may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of 

Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities (471-6529 voice 

or 471-4641 TTY). This letter should be presented to the instructor at the beginning of the 

semester so that appropriate accommodations can be made at that time. For more information, 

please see: http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd/. 

Use of Blackboard in Class: Some of our readings are available on blackboard. You should print 

these out and bring with you to class. Please allow yourself enough time before an assignment 

is due. As with all computer systems, there are occasional scheduled downtimes as well as 

unanticipated disruptions. Blackboard is available at http://courses.utexas.edu. Support is 

provided by the ITS Help Desk at 475-9400 during business hours on weekdays. 

Religious Holidays: If you will need to miss class, tests, or other assignments due to the 

observance of a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the work you 

have missed provided you notify me at least one week prior to the absence. 

ANS 361 • Mod Japanese Lit In Translat

31120 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 400pm-530pm JES A307A
show description

Updated 8/26/09 

 1 

Modern Japanese Literature in Translation (ANS 361; #31120) 

Fall 2009, MW 4 - 5:30 p.m. (JES A307A

Instructor: Kirsten Cather, (WCH 5.104B), kcather@mail.utexas.edu  

Office Hours: Mon. 11-12:30 p.m.; Wed. 3-4 p.m., or by appointment 

 

Description: 

This course examines literature written by Japanese authors in the twentieth and twenty-first 

centuries. We will learn to read, think, discuss and write about Japanese literature critically and 

analytically with attention to a work’s content, style, and form, as well as the socio-historical context 

of its production and reception. Topics include the breakdown of tradition and the crisis of 

individualism; nostalgia and nationalism; war and cultural amnesia; “women’s literature”; sexuality, 

gender, and power; and the dynamics of cross-cultural influence.  

 

 

Required Texts/Readings: 

1) The following novels (* on schedule) are available for purchase at the Co-op. You are welcome 

to purchase them from used bookstores or on-line instead, but be sure to get the same version 

(cross-check the ISBN #) so that we can all refer to the same page numbers for class 

discussions and papers. 

 

?seki, Natsume. Kokoro. ISBN:  978-0895267153 

Tanizaki, Jun'ichiro. Naomi. ISBN:  978-0375724749  

Mishima, Yukio. Confessions of a Mask. ISBN:  978-0811201186 

Ooka, Shohei. Fires on the Plain. ISBN:  978-0804813792 

 

2) Additional supplementary short stories and supplemental readings (marked with – below) will be 

posted on Blackboard under Course Documents. You should print these out so that you can 

read carefully, take thorough notes, and bring with you to class.  

 

 

Grading: 

Pop-quizzes (approx. 11, lowest grade dropped) = 15% TOTAL  

 These will be very short unannounced quizzes during class time to check if you’ve done 

the assigned readings. Absolutely no make-ups. 

Short Writing assignments = 30% TOTAL 

 2 total (3 pages each) X 15% each  

Analytical paper = 40% TOTAL (detailed instructions will be provided on handout) 

 1-2 paragraph abstract and 1st draft (4-5 pages) = 10% 

 Final expanded and revised version (7-8 pages) = 30%  

Oral Presentation = 10% TOTAL 

 Each of you will sign up to lead 15 minutes of a class discussion on a text. Along with your 

oral presentation, you should email a list of provocative discussion questions to the class 

at least 24 hours before your presentation. 

Attendance/Participation/Contribution = 5% TOTAL 

 For each unexcused absence beyond one, your participation grade will be docked 1% 

each time. 

Updated 8/26/09 

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Grading Policy 

Grades are assigned as follows: 97-100 = A+; 93-96 = A; 90-92 = A-; 87-89 = B+; 83-86 = B; 80-82 

= B-; 77-79 = C+; 73-76 = C; 70-72 = C-; 67-69 = D+; 63-66 = D; 60-62 = D-; below 60 = F. As a 

rule, I do not grade on a curve or round up grades. If you receive an 89, you will receive a B+. One 

exception to this rule is that a grade that is very close to the next grade level, such as an 89.8 or 

79.9, may be rounded up to the higher grade if the student has consistently attended class and 

participated fully in class discussions. There are no extra credit assignments for this class. 

 

 

Standards and Expectations: 

Careful and thorough reading of the assigned texts by the date indicated on the schedule. Reading 

requires your active engagement with the text. Merely highlighting or skimming these will not 

be sufficient for close analysis. Detailed note-taking is essential and you need to bring your 

copy with you to class.  

Attendance at all classes. Considerate, attentive, and active listening and participation in class and 

small group discussions. Sleepers and disruptive students will be asked to leave. Common 

courtesy expected.  

Timely completion of assignments. No late assignments will be accepted. Extensions will be 

granted in only very rare cases for legitimate reasons (i.e. religious holidays), but even in these 

cases, arrangements must be made with the instructor one week prior to the examination date. 

For requests Last-minute family or medical emergencies will be considered, but no guarantees 

and will require a note as well as e-mail or telephone notification prior to the class period. No 

exceptions. 

Announcements of schedule changes and/or homework assignments may be made in the previous 

class. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to find out what has been assigned. Please feel 

free to contact me by e-mail at kcather@mail.utexas.edu. 

 

 

Official Policies 

Academic integrity: You are expected to adhere to university requirements on academic honesty 

and integrity. Behaviors, such as plagiarism, copying of another student’s work, or cheating on 

an exam, are serious offenses that will result in the grade of an “F” for the course and will be 

reported to the office of Student Judicial Services, where further disciplinary action may be 

taken. Please refer to the following website for information on how to avoid plagiarism in your 

work and/or discuss this with the instructor: 

http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/acint_student.php 

 

University Electronic Notification Mail Policy: In this course, e-mail will be used as a means of 

communication with students. You will be responsible for checking your e-mail regularly for 

class announcements and assignments. As per the University Electronic Notification Policy 

(please see http://www.utexas.edu/its/policies/emailnotify.html), it is your responsibility to 

update your email address and to check your e-mail regularly. 

 

Accommodations for Students with Documented Disabilities: Students who require special 

accommodations may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of 

Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities (471-6529 voice 

or 471-4641 TTY). This letter should be presented to the instructor at the beginning of the 

Updated 8/26/09 

 3 

semester so that appropriate accommodations can be made at that time. For more information, 

please see: http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd/. 

 

Use of Blackboard in Class: Some of our readings are available on blackboard. You should print 

these out and bring with you to class. Please allow yourself enough time before an assignment 

is due. As with all computer systems, there are occasional scheduled downtimes as well as 

unanticipated disruptions. Blackboard is available at http://courses.utexas.edu. Support is 

provided by the ITS Help Desk at 475-9400 during business hours on weekdays. 

 

Religious Holidays: If you will need to miss class, tests, or other assignments due to the 

observance of a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the work you 

have missed provided you notify me at least one week prior to the absence.  

 

Updated 8/26/09 

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Schedule (subject to change; updated version posted on blackboard): 

Readings are marked with a – and should be completed by the day listed on the schedule. 

Note: All authors are listed with last name first following the Japanese practice. 

 

First Meetings (Aug. 26) 

Wed: Introduction 

 

Week One (Aug. 31 & Sept. 2)  

Mon: --“Dancing Girl” (“Maihime,” Mori ?gai, 1890)  

Wed: --“Separate Ways” (“Wakare-Michi,” Higuchi Ichiy?, 1896) 

  --The Essence of the Novel excerpts (Sh?setsu Shinzui, Tsubouchi Sh?y?, 1885-86)  

 

Week Two (Mon. OFF, Sept. 9 )  

Mon: OFF (Labor Day holiday) 

Wed:  *Kokoro (Natsume S?seki, 1914) 

 

Week Three (Sept. 14 & 16)  

Mon: Discuss Kokoro 

 Writing Assignment #1 due   

Wed: Continue discussion of Kokoro 

  --Ten Nights of Dreams (Yume j?ya, S?seki, 1908) excerpts  

 

Week Four (Sept. 21 & 23)  

Mon:  Workshop: Writing Assignment #1 

Wed.: --“Hell Screen” (“Jigokuhen,” Akutagawa Ry?nosuke, 1918) 

--“A Note to an Old Friend” (“Aru ky?y? o okuru shuki,” Akutagawa Ry?nosuke, 1927) 

 

Week Five (Sept. 28 & 30) 

Mon:  *Naomi (Chijin no ai, Tanizaki Jun’ichir?, 1924-25)  

Wed: Continue Naomi discussion 

 

Week Six (Oct. 5 & 7) 

Mon:  --“A Strange Tale from East of the River” (“Bokut? kidan,” Nagai Kaf?, 1937)  

--“The Decoration” (“Kunsh?,” Nagai Kaf?, 1938) 

Wed: --“Merry Christmas” (“Merii Kurisumasu,” Dazai Osamu, 1946) 

 

Week Seven (Oct. 12 & 14) 

Mon: Confessions of a Mask (Kamen no kokuhaku, Mishima Yukio, 1949) 

  Writing Assignment #2 due 

Wed: Continue discussion of Confessions of a Mask 

 

Week Eight (Oct. 19 & 21) 

Mon: *Fires on the Plains (Nobi, Ooka Sh?hei, 1956) 

Wed: Continue Fires discussion 

 

 

 

Updated 8/26/09 

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Week Nine (Oct. 26 & 28) 

Mon: --“Human Sheep” (“Ningen no hitsuji,” ?e Kenzabur?, 1958) 

--“Amerikan Hijiki” (Nosaka Akiyuki, 1967)  

Wed: --“One Arm” (“Kataude,” Kawabata Yasunari, 1963) 

 --Palm-of-the-Hand Stories selections (Kawabata Yasunari) 

 

Week Ten (Nov. 2 & 4)  

Mon:  --“Japan, the Beautiful and Myself” (Kawabata, 1968) 

  --“Japan, the Ambiguous, and Myself” (?e, 1994) 

Wed: --“Rabbits” (“Usagi,” Kanai Mieko, 1976) 

 

Week Eleven (Nov. 9 & 11) 

Mon: --“Toddler-Hunting” (“Yojigari,” K?no Taeko, 1961) 

  --“The Origins of the Concept of ‘Women’s Literature’” (Joan Ericson, pp. 74-115) 

Wed:  --“The Elephant Vanishes,” (“Z? no sh?metsu,” Murakami Haruki, 1985)  

 --“The Magic Chalk,” (“Mah? no ch?ku,” Abe K?b?, 1950) 

 Paper Abstract Due  

 

Week Twelve (Nov. 16 & 18) 

Mon: --“Dead Girl” (“Deddo g?ru,” Natsuo Kirino, 200?) 

Wed:  TBD 

 

Week Thirteen (Nov. 23 & 25 – Thanksgiving Thursday) 

Mon:  In-class screening of Family Game (dir. Morita Yoshimitsu, 1983) 

Wed:  Finish screening of Family Game 

 Paper Draft #1 due 

 

Week Fourteen (Nov. 30 & Dec. 2) 

Mon: TBD 

Wed: Wrap-up discussion 

 

Final paper due by final exam period, Friday December 11th, 7 p.m. 

 

 

ANS 320 • Genji To Godzilla

30435-30445 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 1100-1200 PAR 1
show description

Conducted in English. Introduction to various Asian literatures, emphasizing philosophical, religious, and social concepts.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Asian Studies 320 and 361 may not both be counted unless the topics vary.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.


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