Carnegie Mellon University

Topics in Japanese Studies: Readings & Discussions in Fiction, Culture & Criticism

Course Number: 82-474

SPRING 2024: Readings and Discussions in Fiction, Culture, and Criticism - The course will be a bit of a pick-your-own-adventure: during the first week of class I will introduce several texts from three different categories ¿ Literature, Language, and Criticism ¿ and students will vote for one text per category. The Literature category features authors writing in Japanese as non-native speakers, authors writing about various issues related to identity, and contemporary poets writing on a variety of relevant topics. The Language category features three texts written by a leading Japanese linguist that examines different aspects of the Japanese language in an informative but engaging way (its history, a book of trivia, etc.). The Criticism category features three texts by a variety of critics looking at contemporary social issues such as otaku, gender and sexuality, and the cultural history of terms such as kawaii. There is no expectation of prior knowledge in these topics ¿ as long as you are willing to learn, I will do everything to make sure you succeed. This is a great opportunity to build your advanced Japanese skills by reading authentic materials while, at the same time, developing nuanced understandings of contemporary Japanese culture.

View the Schedule of Classes for more details

Units: 9
Prerequisite(s): 82372