Writers in Japanese Society
2007: January 10 - April 25
Wednesdays 6:00- 8:30pm
Course number: ASIA 384
Curriculum: A&S Aesthetic Perspective
2006 + Curriculum: Connections: Beyond the North
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Professor Jan Bardsley
Department of Asian Studies
Office hours: W
1-3pm & by appt
What is this course about?
women writers came into their own as professionals in the late 1800s,
and participated in every major literary movement of twentieth century
Japan. They wrote for all kinds of women's magazines and
newspapers, published novels, plays, essays, and poetry,
supported war and anti-war movements, and fiercely debated gender
equity, democracy and national identity. Many among them explored the
transgressive, experimented with avant-garde abstraction, delved into
pulp romance and mysteries, or earned fame as soap opera or comic book
writers. This course traces the history of modern Japanese
women's writing, dramatizing its most significant, often controversial
moments, and introducing students to the diversity of writers, readers
and texts involved. The course also acquaints students with critical
writing in English that opens new ways of thinking and talking about
Japanese women's writing.
Who is the instructor?
|Jan Bardsley teaches Japanese
literature, women's studies and language classes in the Department of
Asian Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill A graduate of UC Davis and UCLA,
I have lived and travelled in Japan, enjoy translating and
writing about Japanese women's writing and history, and have taught
women's studies classes in Japan. My current research explores
the texts and events surrounding femininity in postwar Japan: royal
weddings, beauty contests, etiquette manuals, and high fashion. I love
watching Japanese TV soap operas. Most days you can find me in my
office on the 3rd floor of New West (across from Memorial Hall). You
are welcome to drop in anytime I am free though it is best to make an
appointment for longer consultations.
What will I have learned by the end of this class?
| Knowledge of the Issues: By the end of this
course, you will be able to discuss modern Japanese women's writing by
referring to a range of genre and writers, historical events, and
critical issues such as individual and national identity, gender and
sexuality, and narrative strategy.
Reading Skills: You will have improved your ability to read
works--both popular and academic--in the context of an investigation of
one major topic, modern Japanese women's writing. You will also have
learned strategies for approaching theoretical articles about women's
Research Skills: By writing short assignments and one
research paper over the course of the semester, you will have enhanced
your ability to develop and argue a position, and to design your own
research plan in consultation with the instructor.
Skills: Class discussions and a class presentation
will launch your full and active participation in this course.
You will know most of the people in this class pretty well, and you
will learn much from them. You and your group will also teach the
rest of us, helping us to better enjoy and interpret some texts in
Japanese women's writing.
Ability: You will read about artists, works by artists, and
you will have a chance to think artistically in creating your group
presentation--a presentation that is intended to surprise and delight
the class, to make us think about an author or a text in an unusual way.
What books should I buy?
books, including many used, inexpensive copies, are available in the
textbook section of the UNC bookstore under Asia 384. You may
also want to search for these books in the used-book stores on Franklin
Street. You need to have your own copy of each of these books.
She Was Worth
Mariner Books, 1999
of Evidence: Women, Society, and Detective Fiction in 1990s Japan
University of Hawaii, 2004
The Doctor's Wife
Oxford University Press, 2004 edition. (or used copies)
Vintage Press, 1983.
Murasaki: Writing by Women of Meiji Japan
Restless Wave: My
Life in Two Worlds
Rebecca COPELAND (Editor),
Melek ORTABASI (Editor)
Feminist Press, 2004.
What else do I need to read?
stories and critical articles posted on BB site; see the course
schedule for titles and due dates
How do I contribute to this class and how will I
- You have a vital role to play in determining the success of
this course. Be prompt. Come prepared with day's assignment. Be ready
- Everyone is allowed one absence. This covers
illness, family emergency, and any other event that might unexpectedly
come up, and any other personal time you need to take. Please
notify the instructor by phone or email if you cannot attend class.
Unless there is a medical emergency, three or more absences will count
against your grade.
- **To get attendance credit, you must be present
during the entire class meeting.
You cannot take half credit for being at half the evening's class--it's
all or nothing.
- late paper policy: A paper will lose a 1/2 grade for
ever day late. For example, a "B+" paper originally due on a
Wednesday and handed in late on Friday would earn a "B-."
- Etiquette: shut off cell phones; no
laptops open during class; leave classroom only during the breaks; make
an effort to talk with and get to know your classmates. Be on time for
class and stay the entire time. Make sure that you bring the day's
readings to class as we will refer to passages in the text in our
- Three short
essays of 1,000 words (roughly 5 pages): 10% each
- Due January
31; February 14; April 4.
essay, five-pages on the The
- Due in class
on March 7th. The topic will be assigned the week before.
research paper (ten pages plus notes and bibliography; graduate student
papers should be 20 pages) provides you the opportunity to investigate
of this course in more detail, and to design and execute your own
- Each paper
focuses on a single author, summarizes critical writing about the
author's work, gives biographical information on the writer (where
possible), and, most importantly, engages at length with the ideas of
one critical essay in interpreting one of the author's works. For
critical writing, you can also use essays in the text, Woman Critiqued.
- You may choose
to work on an author already on the course reading list as long as you
can find more critical literature about her work or read other works
that she has written.
- Use citations
from the text to support your argument.
- The paper is
graded on originality of the research design, thoroughness of the
research, and clarity and style of the exposition.
- For topics to
consider, click here
April 30 6:00pm, meet in regular classroom
- Exam will
involve a take-home essay turned in at the time of the final as well as
a short in-class exam. You will receive the topic of
the exam essay and a guide to what to study for the exam by April 23rd.
It is understood
that all members of this class pledge to uphold the honor code of the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in all work completed for