HIST 219
Japanese Culture and History from Courtiers to Samurai and Beyond Spring 2017
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed HIST 219 / JAPN 219 / ASST 219 / COMP 229
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This course will introduce students to the history, literature, and artistic culture of premodern Japan, from the time of the first recorded histories in the 800s through the abolition of the samurai class in the late 1800s. We will focus on the politics and aesthetic culture of the ruling elites in each period, from the heyday of the imperial court through the rise and eventual decline of the samurai warrior and the growth of Edo (Tokyo), with its new mode of early modern government and new forms of literature, theater, and art. Team taught by faculty from History and Comparative Literature, the course will examine historical texts alongside works drawn from literature, visual culture, and performing arts, and will ask students to consider how these different kinds of texts can shed light on one another. What is the difference between reading history and reading literature, or is it even meaningful to distinguish the two? By critically engaging in various kinds of textual analysis, this EDI course not only considers the relationship between politics, culture, and society in premodern Japan but also explores how we can attempt to know and understand different times and places. Primary texts will include court diaries, war tales, and fiction; laws and edicts; essays and autobiographies; noh, kabuki, and puppet theater; and tea ceremony, visual art, and architecture. Students should register under the prefix specific to the Division in which they want to receive credit.
The Class: Type: lecture/discussion
Limit: 40
Expected: 30
Class#: 3050
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, response assignments, two short papers (approximately five pages each), and a final exam
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none; open to all
Enrollment Preferences: students majoring or considering a major in a related field
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under HIST or ASST; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP or JAPN
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 219 Division II JAPN 219 Division I ASST 219 Division II COMP 229 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group B Electives - Asia
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern

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