EAJ212L

MODERN JAPANESE LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION

Spring 2012 Call Number 9918

T  Th 4:15 p.m.-5:35 p.m. Fine Arts 114

 

Instructor: Susanna Fessler  

Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 2:15-3:15 and by appt. 

e-mail: sfessler@albany.edu    

Office: Humanities 243  

Phone/Voicemail: 442-4119

Fax: 442-4118

 

Course Description:

            This course is a survey of modern Japanese prose literature and writers, with a special emphasis on Natsume Sōseki, Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio, and Ōe Kenzaburō.  Material will be presented in a (more or less) chronological fashion, with the aim of providing the student with an overall view of literary trends.  The required texts include two novels and an anthology of short stories.  Class format will include lectures and discussion; preparation for class and class attendance are an important part of your grade. No knowledge of the Japanese language is required.

 

General Education Information:

This course fulfills the General Education Categories of Humanities and Regions Beyond Europe.

 

Characteristics of all General Education Courses

  1. General Education courses offer introductions to the central topics of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields.
  2. General Education courses offer explicit rather than tacit understandings of the procedures, practices, methodology and fundamental assumptions of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields.
  3. General Education courses recognize multiple perspectives on the subject matter.
  4. General Education courses emphasize active learning in an engaged environment that enables students to be producers as well as consumers of knowledge.
  5. General Education courses promote critical inquiry into the assumptions, goals, and methods of various fields of academic study; they aim to develop the interpretive, analytic, and evaluative competencies characteristic of critical thinking.

 

Learning Objectives for General Education Humanities Courses

Humanities courses teach students to analyze and interpret texts, ideas, artifacts, and discourse systems, and the human values, traditions, and beliefs that they reflect. 

 

Humanities courses enable students to demonstrate knowledge of the assumptions, methods of study, and theories of at least one of the disciplines within the humanities. 

 

Depending on the discipline, humanities courses will enable students to demonstrate some or all of the following:

  1. an understanding of the objects of study as expressions of the cultural contexts of the people who created them
  2. an understanding of the continuing relevance of the objects of study to the present and to the world outside the university
  3. an ability to employ the terms and understand the conventions particular to the discipline
  4. an ability to analyze and assess the strengths and weaknesses of ideas and positions along with the reasons or arguments that can be given for and against them
  5. an understanding of the nature of the texts, artifacts, ideas, or discourse of the discipline and of the assumptions that underlie this understanding, including those relating to issues of tradition and canon 

Objectives for General Education Regions Beyond Europe Courses

Approved courses engage students in considerations of the "local" as opposed to the "global." Courses focus on specific cultures (other than those of the United States) or the world's regions. Courses emphasize the features and processes whereby cultures and regions gain their specific identity, offering an explicitly historical organization (i.e., one that emphasizes the narratives whereby any given region or culture has come to gain its specific identity), and balancing topical focus and chronological breadth (i.e., considering a topic of sufficient specificity for the course to be coherent, but over a period of time long enough to ensure that the relevant historical dynamic is clearly visible).

 

Required Texts (all are available for purchase at the bookstore):

            (O) The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories, Goossen, ed.

            (K) Kokoro by Natsume Sōseki (this text is also available on-line at

                        http://web.archive.org/web/20050204104646/www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/ns/soseki.html)

            (M) The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Mishima Yukio

 

  • Additional Course Material is on-line at http://www.albany.edu/eas/212/index.htm
  • There is also an extensive ERes page for this course with links to other works by the authors in both Japanese and English, along with secondary readings on authors when available. These readings are not required.

 

Testing and Grading:

           Attendance will be taken regularly; students are expected to attend class unless extenuating circumstances prevent it.  There will be unannounced intermittent quizzes on the content of the required reading.  These quizzes will be easy if you have done the reading but difficult if you have not--in other words, it is to your advantage to come to class prepared.  The exams will include short answer and essay questions on the material covered in class.

 

Course grades will be based on the following criteria:

 

Intermittent quizzes       

20%

Midterm Exam

30%

Final Exam  

30%

Class Attendance

20%

 

                                                          

            This syllabus is a contract.  I agree to teach the topics listed below, and to grade you on the criteria listed above. If there is a change to the schedule (due to inclement weather, etc.), I will announce it in class and post it on the web. I consider a grade of "Incomplete" to be for emergencies (death in the family, extreme illness, etc.), not for students who fail to plan ahead.  I do not curve grades.  I do not give extra credit assignments.  My grading scale is as follows: 93-100%=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-; 0-59%=E.

            If you want to check on your performance at any point in the semester, feel free to come to my office or e-mail me and we'll run through the numbers, as often as you like.  If there are extenuating circumstances which you anticipate will unduly affect your grade, it is your responsibility to speak with me IN ADVANCE.


 

 

 

 

Topic

Reading

Jan.

19

Th

Course Intro & Video: The Meiji Period

None

 

24

T

Japanese Lit. in the Meiji Era

None

 

26

Th

Mori Ōgai & Natsume Sōseki

O: 1-30

 

31

T

The Japanese Soul: Natsume Sōseki

K: Parts 1 & 2

Feb.

2

Th

The Japanese Soul: Natsume Sōseki

K: Part 3

 

7

T

Kunikida Doppo and Higuchi Ichiyō

O: 31-44

 

9

Th

Nagai Kafū and Shiga Naoya

O: 45-61

 

14

T

Tanizaki Jun'ichirō and Satomi Ton

O: 62-78

 

16

Th

Okamoto Kanoko and Akutagawa Ryūnosuke

O: 79-102

 

21

T

Miyazawa Kenji and Yokomitsu Riichi

O: 103-123

 

23

Th

Ibuse Masuji and Kajii Motojirō

O: 124-128; 149-153

 

28

T

Kawabata Yasunari

O:129-148

Mar.

1

Th

Video: Kawabata Yasunari: The Master of Funerals

None

 

6

T

Hirabayashi Taiko and Hayashi Fumiko

O: 154-171; 182-186

 

8

Th

MIDTERM EXAM

None

 

13

T

SPRING BREAK

 

 

15

Th

SPRING BREAK

 

 

20

T

Enchi Fumiko and Sakaguchi Ango

O: 172-181; 187-205

 

22

Th

Dazai Osamu and Inoue Yasushi

O: 206-231

 

27

T

Nakajima Atsushi and Kojima Nobuo

O: 232-251

 

29

Th

Endō Shūsaku and Abe Kōbō

O: 252-287

 April

3

T

Yoshiyuki Junnosuke and Kaikō Takeshi

O: 288-292; 344-350

 

5

Th

Mishima Yukio

O: 293-312

 

10

T

Video: Mishima, a Life in Four Chapters

None

 

12

Th

Mishima Yukio

M: gSummerh

 

17

T

Mishima Yukio

M: gWinterh

 

19

Th

Kono Taeko and Mukoda Kuniko

O: 313-343

 

24

T

Ōe Kenzaburō

O: 351-390

 

26

Th

Ōe Kenzaburō

TBA

May

1

T

Tsushima Yuko and Murakami Haruki

O: 391-416

 

3

Th

Shimada Masahiko and Yoshimoto Banana

O: 417-443

 

8

T

Course Wrap-Up

 

 

The final exam is scheduled for Thursday, May 10th 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.