Professor Annmaria Shimabuku | W: 4:55 PM - 7:35 PM
Instructional Mode: Online
This seminar examines the birth of Japanese literary criticism from the Meiji era and traces its development to contemporary times. We will start by examining a series of transitions in reading: texts read communally/theatrically to texts read individually/silently; texts read for aural appreciation to texts read hermeneutically and for comprehension; texts read for visual appreciation to texts read phonocentrically. We will discuss Japanese orthography, problems in Japanese linguistics and the formation of the Japanese language, the genbun ichi movement, realism, and the emergence of the I-novel, formation of a female readership, modernism, proletarian realism, formalism, and postcolonial criticism. Authors that we read include Mikhail Bakhtin, Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida, Karatani Kōjin, Kobayashi Hideo, Komori Yōichi, Julia Kristeva, Kurahara Korehito, Maeda Ai, Naoki Sakai, Takeuchi Yoshimi among others. We will focus mainly on literary criticism and examine actual works of literature when helpful. Our overall goal is to examine how language and practices of reading/listening form subjects and contextualize the political implications of that subject formation against the backdrop of Japanese colonialism, nationalism, capitalism, and trans-Pacific movements. No prior knowledge of Japanese is required for this class.