2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Times and Works of Soseki, Mishima, and Murakami: Studies in Literature, History and Cinema

Spring 2013 quarter

Harumi Moruzzi cultural studies, film studies, literature
Fields of Study
history, literature and moving image
Preparatory for studies or careers in
humanities, Japanese studies, history and film studies.

This program is designed for students who are interested in the literary works of Soseki Natsume, Yukio Mishima and Haruki Murakami as well as modern Japanese history.

Nobody lives in a vacuum. Every person is a product of that person's time and place, even when he/she rebels against such a background. Most people in society conform to the current ideology of society in order to succeed and perhaps merely to get by, even when their society is moving toward spiritual bankruptcy. It is often believed that the artists and the intellectuals are the seers and prophets of the society that can shed light on the social and cultural problems, thus inspiring new directions for regeneration. Such may be a romantic view of artists and intellectuals. However, this premise often yields an advantageous framework through which we can examine the society and culture that produced these artists and intellectuals.

The highly esteemed Japanese writers, Soseki Natsume, Yukio Mishima and Haruki Murakami, are examples of such artists and intellectuals. They represent turbulent and paradigm-shifting periods in Japanese history: Meiji modernization, Post World War II devastation, and the advent of a rabid consumer society.

In this program, we study the literary works of these three writers in the context of their times, with respective culture and socio-economic structure, through lectures, films, seminars and individual and/or group projects/research.

At the beginning of the quarter, students will be introduced to the rudiments of film analytical terms in order to develop a more analytical and critical attitude toward film-viewing experience. Students will also be introduced to major literary theories in order to familiarize themselves with varied approaches to the interpretation of literature. Then, students will examine the selected works of Soseki Natsume, Yukio Mishima and Haruki Murakami through seminars and critical writings. Weekly film viewing and film seminar will accompany the study of literature and history in order to facilitate a deeper exploration of the topics and issues presented in their literary works.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During