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Module

JPN4006 : Literary and cultural expressions in contemporary Japan

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gitte Marianne Hansen
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Since the 1980s Japanese literature has undergone much change, causing some critics to claim that Japanese literature has been destroyed by writers such as Murakami Haruki and Yoshimoto Banana. While the main focus of this module is literary text, the module also introduces other types of fiction. Throughout the module we will be studying a diverse range of Japanese literature and fiction with the purpose of examining ‘meaning’ of specific works. Depending on interpretation this will likely take us through current topics such as gender, normativity and violence. The key aims of the module are as follows,

1) To introduce key contemporary Japanese literary works and other fiction. Period of interest: from ca. 1980 to the present.
2) To understand socio-cultural themes in literature and fiction in relation to contextual issues in contemporary Japan.
3) To familiarise students with primary literary and cultural criticism within the field of contemporary Japanese literature and cultural studies.
4) To develop critical analytical skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

10x2 hour lectures/seminar, designed as 1 hour student led seminar followed by 1 hour lecture. The first week establishes the theoretical background of the module and introduces relevant academic debates and approaches to the study of contemporary Japanese literature and culture. The following weeks are divided into topics relevant to contemporary Japanese society and their thematisation in contemporary literature and other works of fiction. Topics include for example gender, normativity, violence and post-war Japanese society. Key primary readings include novels and short stories by Murakami Haruki such as Norwegian Wood (1987), Sleep (1989) and The little green monster (1991) as well as literary works by Yoshimoto Banana and Kanehara Hiromi. Some Manga and films also form an important part of the syllabus. All required readings are read in translation, but non-translated works will also be introduced throughout module. While the main readings consist of literary works, students are also required to read secondary sources on relevant issues in contemporary Japanese society as well as theoretical texts on relevant topics.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable