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    Department __Global Studies & World Languages___________________________ Date _2/15/2012____________

    _GS 325______________ _Readings in Japanese Literature _________________ _______3 or 4_var._____ Course No. Course Name Credits


GEP Goal Area(s):*


    _____Goal 1: Communication THEME GOAL AREAS

    _____Goal 3: Natural Science _____Goal 7: Human Diversity _____Goal 4: Mathematics/Logical Reasoning _____ Goal 8: Global Perspective _____ Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral _____Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility

     Sciences _____Goal 10: People and the Environment

    __X__ Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

     * Courses may be submitted for up to two Goal Areas.

Additional Requirement Categories:


     _____ 1. Writing

     _____ 2. Oral Communication

     _____ 3. a. Mathematics/Statistics

     _____ b. Critical Analysis

     _____ Physical Development and Wellness

    Provide information as specified in the previous directions.

Attach a General Education Program Approval Form.

Department Contact Person for this Proposal:

    _Dr. Matthew C. Strecher________________ __474-5791________ __mstrecher@winona.edu____________ Name (please print) Phone e-mail address

     [Revised 9-6-11]




Routing form for General Education Program Course approval. Course GS 325______________

Department Approval

_________________________________ ________________ ____________________________________________

    Department Chair Date e-mail address

Dean’s Recommendation _____ Yes _____ No*

_________________________________ ________________

    Dean of College Date

*If the dean does not approve the proposal, a written rationale shall be provided to the General Education Program Subcommittee.

    GEPS Recommendation _____ Approved _____ Disapproved

_________________________________ ________________

     General Education Program Director Date

    A2C2 Recommendation _____ Approved _____ Disapproved

_________________________________ ________________

    Chair of A2C2 Date

    Faculty Senate Recommendation _____ Approved _____ Disapproved

_________________________________ ________________

    President of Faculty Senate Date

    Academic Vice President Recommendation _____ Approved _____ Disapproved

_________________________________ ________________

    Academic Vice President Date

Decision of President _____ Approved _____ Disapproved

_________________________________ ________________

    President Date

Please forward to Registrar.

    Registrar _________________ Please notify department chair via e-mail that curricular change has been recorded.

     Date entered

     [Revised 7-13-11]



    Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts


    GS 325 is designed to acquaint students with the major literary writers and movements in modern Japan. It will be focused on literature written since 1868, but we may look at some earlier texts by way of background. Topics will include the development of a “modern” Japanese novel based on European models; the rise of Japanese romanticism,

    naturalism, proletarianism, and modernism in the pre-Second World War era; wartime propaganda writing; postwar anti-war literature; political literature of the 1960s-1970s; postmodern writing of the 1980s; and post-postmodern writing beyond the 1990s. Students will read texts in English translation, and discuss them orally in class. Students will also take written examinations, write short essays, carry out a final presentation, and prepare a final term paper. As such, students will have opportunities to practice written and oral expression in English.

    This course will cover the following topics:

    1. Transitional writing of the early Meiji period (1868-1912)

    2. The quest for a new literary language and voice

    3. Developing the "modern" Japanese novel

    4. Romanticism, Naturalism, Modernism, Decadence (Pre-World War II)

    5. Inventing "Pure" Literature

    6. Writers, War Responsibility, and the New Subjectivity

    7. Early Postwar Decadence

    8. Postwar Neo-Romanticism

    9. 1960s Counter-culture

    10. Age of Socially Conscious Literature

    11. Japanese Postmodernism and Magical Realism

    12. Support Group for when the Postmodern Starts Turning Modernist

    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

    1. Discuss the major issues facing Japanese writers in the mid-1800s when confronted with the need to develop a modern

    national literature, including the lack of cultural grounding for individuality, lack of modern written language, uncertainty

    about ideal literary forms, etc.

    2. Explain the impact of major 19th century European literary movements like Romanticism, Naturalism, and Modernism on

    Japanese writers at the turn of the twentieth century.

    3. Talk intelligently about the processes by which modern Japanese "pure literature" (junbungaku) was defined, chiefly at the

    expense of various rival literary forms, like proletarian literature, and the impact this had on the Japanese intelligentsia's

    response to the rise of fascism in Japan.

    4. Explain the major literary and social issues facing Japanese writers in the early postwar (post-1945) era. 5. Take us on an imaginary journey through the developmental process of literary expression, from the frigid fifties to the sexy


    6. Discuss the resurgence of magical realist writing on Japanese, and its role in opening the door to a full-blown postmodern

    "boom" in the 1980s.

    7. Revisit the modernist impulse, and observe with revulsion as that impulse infiltrates the uncritical, highlighted

    juxtapositionings of seemingly incompatible literary tropes, then implodes them by imposing a sense of teleological



    Student Competencies Learning Activities & Opportunities Assessment Plan


     Classroom discussion will be our Students will be able to:

    principal medium. Student's work will Demonstrate awareness of the scope and Students will read a body of texts -- be evaluated through oral discussion, variety of works in the arts and between 5 and 8 novel-length works, short papers, long papers, and written humanities. and 15 short stories by about a dozen examination. different Japanese authors.

    Understand those works as expressions We will use an essentially historicist Classroom discussion will be our of individual and human values within method for examining works of principal medium. Student's work will an historical and social context. Japanese literature, focusing first on the be evaluated through oral discussion,

    social and historical conditions that led short papers, long papers, and written

    to the emergence of each writer or examination.

    literary movement, followed by detailed

    examination of the structural, aesthetic,

    and thematic implications of each text.

Respond critically to works in the arts Students will begin by asking two

    essential questions: What (in my best and humanities. Classroom discussion will be our estimation) does this text seek to convey principal medium. Student's work will to me? and To what extent does it be evaluated through oral discussion, succeed or fail? It is understood that short papers, long papers, and written authorial intention is not our goal, but examination. rather the overall effect of the text itself

    (the instructor being primarily a

    reception theorist at heart).

    In this way, students will determine for

    themselves whether the text succeeds in

    "speaking" coherently to them.

    Engage in the creative process or Students are encouraged to keep a Classroom discussion will be our interpretive performance reading diary; they are also encouraged principal medium. Student's work will -- and at times required -- to offer be evaluated through oral discussion, alternate endings to the texts we read. short papers, long papers, and written This allows them to dissect the examination. developmental structure of the text as

    they read/write it. Given the instructor's

    sympathy for reader response, it is a

    premise of the course that all reading

    acts are also writing acts. We simply

    take it a step further.

    Articulate an informed personal reaction Each box above has described some Classroom discussion will be our to works in the arts and humanities. aspect of doing precisely that. Students principal medium. Student's work will read a variety of texts, are instructed in be evaluated through oral discussion, the historical, social, aesthetic, and short papers, long papers, and written developmental events that led to those examination. texts and their authors, are given the

    theoretical tools to read critically,

    analyze, and react to those texts.


    Course Syllabus

Course: GS 325 "Readings in Japanese Literature"

    Meets: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:00-3:20, Minné 110

    Instructor: Dr. Matthew Strecher

    Office: Minné 134

    Telephone and E-mail: 474-5791;

    Office Hours: MTWR 10:00-10:30; MW 1:00-2:00



    This course is designed to serve as an introduction to modern Japanese literature. Although there is no prerequisite, students are

    assumed to have an interest in Japan, in literature, or both. This will be a challenging course, containing higher-than-average

    amounts of reading, plenty of writing, exams, and discussions in which all students are expected to take part.

If all that sounds good to you, read on.

Course Procedures

    We will meet twice a week for about 80 minutes each session. There will be at least one text assigned for each session. In class

    I will share some of what I know about Japanese writers, literary movements, and literary history related to the work assigned for

    the day. Any of this material, as well as all content from each novel or story we read, may appear on the mid-term and/or final

    exam. Other information, knowledge, insights, and so on may become important to you when working on the two short papers in

    this course.

When I am not lecturing (which hopefully will be most of the time), we will discuss the work(s) we have read for the day. I will

    arrive to class armed with many questions that will facilitate discussion. You are encouraged to bring questions of your own for

    the same purpose. You need to finish reading the text assigned for the day before coming to class. In cases where we have more

    than one day on a given text, you are strongly urged to have at least half of the work in question read by the first day.

Grading Procedures

    In this course we will have two written papers and two examinations required of all students. Those registered for the four-credit

    option will also complete a research paper (3,000-4,000 words), to be turned in within three days of the final exam, dealing with

    an advanced literary topic chosen in consultation with me. The grades will be broken down as follows:

     3 credit 4 credit

    Mid-term examination .............................. 20% 18%

    Final Examination .............................. 20% 18%

    Paper 1 .......................................................... 20% 18%

    Paper 2 .......................................................... 20% 18%

    Participation ............................................ 20% 18%

    Research Paper ............................................ n/a 10%

    Total 100% 100%

Student Responsibilities

    As a student in this course, you are expected to complete all assignments on time and in a satisfactory manner. Papers are to be

    typed, proofread, and submitted neatly. Late papers will not be accepted. Examinations will be given on the days noted on the

    attached study schedule. Students may take them up to one day early, with prior consent of the instructor, but no make-up

    examinations will be permitted.

Attendance is a priority in this course. You are given three absences without penalty, whatever the reason. Each additional

    absence will subtract three points from your final grade. More than six absences will constitute an automatic "F."

Because it is disrespectful and distracting to the rest of the class when someone walks in late, it is important that everyone come to

    class on time. Being late twice will count as one absence; students who come to class more than fifteen minutes late will be


    marked absent for that day. In matters of absence and lateness you will find me unsympathetic with excuses, so let us not waste one another's time.

Classroom Rules and Etiquette

    Here are a few ground rules for those who do not know me, or those who have forgotten. The following things are prohibited in my classroom (during class time) unless otherwise noted:

    ; use of cellular telephones, personal music devices, etc. ; use of computers of any kind, for any purpose; ; doing homework, for this class or any another; ; holding private conversations with other students; ; eating (please feed yourselves before class); ; wearing hats (Japanese custom);

    ; any behavior that detracts from our educational purpose.

    For anything not listed above, please use your best judgment, but remember that respect for the class comes first, and I will be intolerant of thoughtless behavior.

Good luck in the course! I hope you learn useful and interesting things!


    GS 325 Reading Schedule

    Spring 2012

1/10 Course introduction

    Brief lecture: Issues facing early modern Japanese literature

Segment One: Meiji Fiction

    1/12 Pastoral Romanticism: Kunikida Doppo (1871-1908)

     Read: Unforgettable People, Bird of Spring

     Suggested Reading: Donald Keene, Dawn to the West, pp. 227-239

1/17 Manly Romanticism: Mori Ōgai (1862-1922)

     Read: The Wild Goose

     Film: The Mistress

1/19 Mori Ōgai (2)

     Discussion: The Wild Goose, The Mistress

     Suggested Reading: Masao Miyoshi, Accomplices of Silence, pp. 38-54

1/24 Meiji Moralism: Natsume Sōseki (1867-1916)

     Read: Botchan

     Film: Botchan

1/26 Natsume Sōseki (2)

     Discussion: Botchan (novella and film)

     Homework: Reading And Then

1/31 Natsume Sōseki (3)

     Discussion: And Then

     Suggested Reading: Gessel, Three Modern Novelists, pp. 11-67

2/2 No class; Short Paper One due no later than 2:00. Please bring to Minné 134.

Segment Two: The Struggle to Define Pure Literature

    2/7 Japanese Naturalism: Tayama Katai (1872-1930)

     Read: Girl Watcher, One Soldier

     Suggested Reading: William F. Sibley, Naturalism in Japanese Literature in the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies

    Vol. 28 (1968), pp. 157-169

    2/9 The Shirakaba School: Shiga Naoya (1883-1971)

     Read: The Paper Door, At Kinosaki

2/14 Early Modernism: Akutagawa Ryūnosuke (1892-1927)

     Read: Hell Screen, In a Bamboo Grove

     Suggested Reading: Tsuruta Kinya, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke and I-Novelists in Monumenta Nipponica 25:1 (Winter

    1970), pp. 13-27

2/16 Early Decadence: Tanizaki Junichirō (1886-1965)

     Read: Bridge of Dreams, Tattoo

     Suggested Reading: William Atkinson, Wrapping the Hole in the Middle of It All: Tanizaki's Narrative Packages in

    College Literature, 30:3 (Summer, 2003), pp. 37-51

    2/21 Pure Literature: Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972)

     Read: Beauty and Sadness


     Discussion: Beauty and Sadness

     Suggested Reading: Matthew Strecher, Purely Mass or Massively Pure? The Division Between „Pure‟ and „Mass‟

    Literature in Monumenta Nipponica 51:3 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 357-374


    Segment Three: Early Postwar Fiction

    2/28 Postwar Decadence: Sakaguchi Ango (1906-1955)

     Read: Under a Forest of Cherry in Full Bloom

    3/1 Postwar Romanticism: Mishima Yukio (1925-1970)

     Read: Patriotism

     Film: Yukio Mishima, Samurai Writer

     Suggested Reading: Susan Napier, “Death and the Emperor: Mishima, Ōe, and the Politics of Betrayal” in The

    Journal of Asian Studies 48:1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 71-89

3/6 Mishima Yukio (2)

     Discussion: Patriotism, Yukio Mishima: Samurai Writer

3/8 No class; Short Paper 2 due.

3/13 - 3/15 SPRING BREAK

3/20 Postwar Surrealism: Abe Kōbō (1924-1993)

     Read: The Magic Chalk

    3/22 Literary Journalism: Kaikō Takeshi (1932-1989)

     Read: Festivities By the River

    3/27 And Now for Something Completely . . . Grotesque: Ōe Kenzaburō (b. 1935)

     Read: The Catch

     Suggested Reading: Same as for Mishima Yukio.

    3/29 Early Postmodernism: Nakagami Kenji (1946-1992)

     Read: The Immortal

    4/3 The (Continued) Search for I: Kanai Mieko (b. 1947)

     Read: Platonic Love

4/5 Rage Against the Capitalist Machine: Kobayashi Kyōji (b. 1957)

     Read: Mazelife

    4/10 Japanese (Post-?)postmodernism: Murakami Haruki (b. 1949)

     Read: 1Q84

    Film: Dinner with Murakami Haruki

    Suggested Reading: Matthew Strecher, At the Critical Stage: A Report on the State of Murakami Haruki Studies In

    Literary Compass 8:11 (Nov. 2011), pp. 856-869.

4/12 1Q84 (first session)

    4/17 Film: Todays Close-Up: Murakami Haruki and the Power of the Story (NHK)

4/19 1Q84 (second session)


    4/24 Final Review: What have we learned about postwar Japanese literature?


    Note: Those writing term papers must have them in my office no later than 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1.


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