This course examines the concept of "representation" in Japanese visual culture, engaging with subject matter from contemporary times, as well as from Japan's modern and pre-modern periods (12th through the early 20th centuries). We will proceed along thematic lines. Balancing theoretical readings with scholarly articles and a sprinkling of translated primary sources, the class will address issues relating to the representation (or re-presentation) of landscape and the environment, the body and gender roles, canonical narratives as performance, and national identity at three crucial periods in Japan's history. At times we will reference Japanese monuments and works of art produced prior to the early modern era, as well as the Chinese sources that influenced some of the Japanese topics at the locus of our investigation. What lies at the heart of representation--subjectivity, political aims, societal concerns, emotional responses--and the complexity this question reveals are the central concerns of this course.
|Arts and Humanities