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FEMGEN 210J: Romance, Desire, and Sexuality in Modern Japanese Literature (FEMGEN 110J, JAPAN 110, JAPAN 210)

This class is structured around three motifs: love suicide (as a romantic ideal), female desire, and same-sex sexuality. Over the course of the quarter we will look at how these motifs are treated in the art and entertainment from three different moments of Japanese history: the Edo period (1615-1868), the modern period (1920-65), and the contemporary period (1965-present). We will start by focusing on the most traditional representations of these topics. Subsequently, we will consider how later artists and entertainers revisited the conventional treatments of these motifs, informing them with new meanings and social significance. We will devote particular attention to how this material comments upon issues of gender, sexuality, and human relationships in the context of Japan. Informing our perspective will be feminist and queer theories of reading and interpretation.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-4 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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