Schedule: Japanese Courses Fall 2020
All Japanese courses will be remote during fall 2020.
JAPANESE 10 and 10H: Masterworks of Japanese Literature (in English)
Instructor: Joseph T. Sorensen
This course serves as an introduction, in English, to selected masterworks of Japanese literature from 7th century into the 21st. We will read from a wide variety of genres: poetry (both ancient and modern), myths, tales, novels, plays, and short stories. The course is organized chronologically around a central theme: depictions of love in literature. We will consider the historical and cultural context of each work, as well as the conventions of the various genres we encounter in our readings. Among the questions to be considered throughout the course are: What kinds of love and what aspects of love are depicted in literature? How are they represented? What is not represented? What does it mean to be a “masterpiece” of literature? This course has no prerequisites, and there is no assumption of prior knowledge of Japanese language, history, or culture. Student grade based on quizzes, in-class discussion, term paper, midterm and final exams.
Required Texts (4 items, plus a reader):
Title: Snow Country
Author: Yasunari Kawabata, Edward G. Seidensticker (trans.)
Publisher: Vintage International
Title: A Personal Matter
Author: Kenzaburo Oe, John Nathan (trans.)
Publisher: Grove Press
Title: Sputnik Sweetheart
Author: Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (trans.)
Publisher: Grove Press
Title: The Tale of Genji (abridged)
Author: Murasaki Shikibu (Edward G. Seidensticker, trans.)
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Advanced Japanese (JPN 121)
This course is designed to accomplish five major objectives for both advanced speakers and heritage speakers of Japanese. First, it will help students develop a higher level of reading and writing skills as they familiarize with socio-cultural topics. Second, it will help students improve their levels of formality in speaking in different situations, both public and non-public. Third, it will also help students develop critical thinking and manners for discussion in Japanese. Fourth, it will help students learn idiomatic expressions and more complex syntactic forms in context rather than in vacuum. Lastly, it will help students acquire overall proficiency equivalent to N2 or higher of Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).
To achieve these goals, the course will provide students with the readings from a variety of genres and require them to write from an email inquiry to an essay. Based on their reading and writing, students will be engaged in discussions/debates and make oral presentations.