ASST 254
The End of the World in Japanese Literature and Visual Culture Spring 2019 Division I; Cross-listed as COMP264 / ASST254

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From the endemic warfare of the medieval era to the atomic bombing and the violent explosion of technology in the last century, the end of the world is an idea which has occupied a central place in almost every generation of Japanese literature. Paradoxically, the spectacle of destruction has given birth to some of the most beautiful, most moving, and most powerfully thrilling literature in the Japanese tradition. Texts may be drawn from medieval war narratives like The Tale of the Heike; World War II fiction and films by Ibuse Masuji, Imamura Shôhei, and Ichikawa Kon; fantasy and science fiction novels by Abe Kôbô, Murakami Haruki and Murakami Ryû; and apocalyptic comics and animation by Oshii Mamoru, Ôtomo Katsuhiro, and others. The class and the readings are in English; no familiarity with Japanese language or culture is required.
The Class: Type: lecture/discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 15
Class#: 3505
Requirements/Evaluation: in-class exam, ungraded creative project, and a few short response assignments, plus two 5- to 7-page papers emphasizing original, creative readings of the literary texts
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none; open to all
Enrollment Preference: students majoring or considering a major in a related field
Distributions: Division I;
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ASST
Attributes: GBST East Asian Studies Electives

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