Posted by: gdevi | August 14, 2014

English 499 Modern Japanese Fiction

English 499- Fall 2014, Meeghan Ferringer

Title: Cultural Alienation in Late 20th Century Japanese Novels

Course description: This course focuses on understanding and articulating the pockets of intersections and divergences between post-war Japan and other countries, and, specifically, how literature in a cross-cultural context, captures social and cultural changes from multiple perspectives. The authors and texts in this Independent Study address the themes of coming-of-age stories, cultural and psychosocial problems of the Japanese youth, perspectives on Japan and other national cultures, and the cultural and psychosocial alienation of the youth from their parent generation. This course will explore the sociocultural markers of cultural alienation across trans-national, generational, class, and gender perspectives as portrayed in select novels of post 1970s Japan.

Required Texts

Ryu Murakami, Coin Locker Babies

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Banana Yoshimoto, Kitchen

Kenji Nakagami, The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto

Natsuo Kirino, Out

Assignments

5 Reader Responses

2 Term Papers

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English 499 – Fall 2014, Delton Rager

Title: Popular Culture and Popular Fiction in Contemporary Japanese Literature

Course description: The objective of this course is to obtain an understanding of modern Japanese culture through analysis of contemporary Japanese novels. Recent Japanese fiction departs from its traditional forms, themes and genres in its explicit affiliation with popular culture, particularly, Japanese popular culture, and western, specifically, American popular culture. This Independent Study will explore the intersections between popular culture and popular fiction in the writings of four bestselling contemporary Japanese authors: Banana Yoshimoto, Ryu Murakami, Natsuo Kirino, and Haruki Murakami.  In particular, this course will explore the borrowings and debts between Japanese and American popular culture and popular fiction, the genre features of a “page-turner,” the influences of manga, television, pop music, jazz, video games, and hard-boiled detective fiction and television shows on Japanese literature.

Required Texts

Ryu Murakami, Almost Transparent Blue

Haruki Murakami, Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Ryu Murakami, Coin Locker Babies

Banana Yoshimoto, Kitchen

Natsuo Kirino, Out

Natsuo Kirino, Grotesque

Assignments

5 Reader Responses

2 Term Papers

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