Japanese Studies (Fall)

Japanese Studies (Fall)

East Asian and Japanese Studies (EALC)
2017 Fall Semester

EALC069 – Japanese Popular Culture
Today, Japanese manga, anime, J-pop, and film have a global audience. But these exports can only be truly understood in light of longstanding domestic anxieties about sex, violence, gender, and “the kids these days.” More recent concerns about the country’s declining birthrate, weakening geopolitical position, and vulnerability to natural and anthropogenic disaster also deeply influence Japanese media products. This course explores some of these anxieties through critical examinations of manga, anime, video games, television, music, and fashion in Japan. Film screenings include work by directors Kon Satoshi, Otomo Katsuhiro, Takahata Isao, Miyazaki Hayao; Itami Juzo, and Takita Yojiro; manga excerpts include work by Tezuka Osamu, Urasawa Naoki, and Yazawa Ai. Secondary readings include scholarship in anthropology, history, sociology, literature, film studies and religious studies.
Instructor: Jolyon Thomas

This course will survey the history of relations among the great powers in East Asia from the sixteenth century to the present. Special emphasis will be given to regional and global developments from the perspective of the three principal East Asian states-China, Japan, and Korea. We will explore the many informal, as well as formal, means of diplomacy in East Asia over the past 400 plus years.
Instructor: Frederick R. Dickinson

EALC150 – Early Modern Japanese Art and the City of Edo, 1600-1868
The seventeenth through the mid-nineteenth century in Japan was a period of enforced peace and cultural innovation, a time when the growth in the market economy and in the built environment provided a context for the transformation of the status of the artist and of the uses of “art.” The consolidation of power in the city of Edo — a city that by the mid-eighteenth century likely had the largest population in the world – transformed cultural production and possession. At the same time, the long-time imperial and cultural capital of Kyoto (Miyako) and other regions actively expanded artistic modes, making this one of the most dynamic eras in Japanese art history. How these and other aspects of the manufacture of art and architecture are intricately bound up with an urban and increasingly “modern” culture will be the central concern in this course.
Instructor: Julie Davis

EALC-152-401- Love and Loss in Japanese Literary Traditions: In Translation
How do people make sense of the multiple experiences that the simple words “love” and “loss” imply? How do they express their thoughts and feelings to one another? In this course, we will explore some means Japanese culture has found to grapple with these events and sensations. We will also see how these culturally sanctioned frameworks have shaped the ways Japanese view love and loss. Our materials will sample the literary tradition of Japan from earliest times to the early modern and even modern periods. Close readings of a diverse group of texts, including poetry, narrative, theater, and the related arts of calligraphy, painting, and music will structure our inquiry. The class will take an expedition to nearby Woodlands Cemetery to experience poetry in nature. By the end of the course, you should be able to appreciate texts that differ slightly in their value systems, linguistic expressions, and aesthetic sensibilities from those that you may already know. Among the available project work that you may select, if you have basic Japanese, is learning to read a literary manga. All shared class material is in English translation.
Instructor: Linda H. Chance

EALC-162-401- City & Citizenship Japan
Instructor: David Spafford

EALC-170-401- Japanese Archaeology in the Penn Museum
Instructor: Yoko Nishimura

EALC-264-401- Law & Violence
This course will be an exploration of premodern Japanese history through the lens of violence. The centuries under consideration (roughly, the eighth thought nineteenth) were characterized by greatly varying levels of violence, both of the state-sanctioned variety (war, punishments for law-breakers and political losers) and of the non-sanctioned variety (piracy, banditry, warrior and peasant rebellions). Examining a wide variety of translated sources, from diaries to chronicles, from legal codes to fiction, we shall examine the changing social, political, economic, and cultural contexts of violence, in order to interrogate not only why certain periods were remarkably peaceful while others were not, but also why violence took different forms in relation to different circumstances. We shall consider how contempories made sense of the violence that surrounded them (or didn’t) and how they divided the acceptable use of force from the wanton and society-threatening abuse of it. The course will feature presentations and several (very short) papers.
Instructor: David Spafford

EALC302 – Major Seminar on Japan
This is a seminar required for all Japanese majors in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilization. Topic varies year to year.
Instructor: Jolyon Thomas

EALC-749-301- Japanese For Sinologists
An accelerated course in scholarly Japanese for Sinologists and others with a knowledge of Chinese characters.
Instructor: Linda H. Chance

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