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Colonial Identities in "Japanese" Literature
CHUM 342
Fall 2010 not offered
Crosslisting: EAST 342, ALIT 342

World War II is often treated as the culmination of a century's worth of colonial discontent, as a war fought as much over national identities as over territory and national boundaries. To closely examine this war over national identities, this class focuses on the representations of colonial identities in the largest non-Western empire in the modern period, Japan. What was the relationship between the Japanese empire and its colonial subjects? How was its nationalism different from those of its European counterparts? Canonical/realist literature from the colonial period never directly addressed political issues, concealing the existence of militarism and colonialism from their literary landscapes. In that sense, they were complicit with the imperial regime and its goal of depicting Japan as a homogeneous state where every citizen, including the colonized, were all equal subjects under the emperor. This class aims to deconstruct this image of Japan as a homogeneous country by looking at noncanonical texts that actually focus on the figures of colonized others and minorities and also contemporary texts that address Japan's wartime past. We will begin by analyzing colonial literature from the modern period, literature written about Japan's colonial identities by Japanese, Chinese, and Korean writers. Students will also be introduced to the history of colonialism in East Asia as the class progresses. Then we will examine works by popular contemporary writers who have addressed Japan's wartime atrocities and colonial past in their literary works.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CHUM
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on DEC-08-2023
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