The Meiji Period (1868-1912) in Japan was a time of tumultuous change. During the era Japan made sweeping reforms to its government, educational system, and social sturctures. Meiji men were encouraged to "modernize" along Western lines, while women were expected to serve as "repositories of the past." Most women prized the elegant traditions and saw these as important markers of cultural identity. But not all were willing to completely abdicate their place in the moderninzing impulse. This writing intensive course will examine these women's literary works, paying attention to the way they developed strategies to both "serve the nation" and find an outlet for their own creative voice. Works to consider include the short fiction of Higuchi Ichiyo, Shimizu Shikin, and Tamura Toshiko, the poetry of Yosano Akiko, the essays of Kishida Toshiko, and the translations of Wakamatsu Shizuko. All readings are available in English translation and students need not be familiar with Japanese, though background in Japanese Studies, Women's Studies, or literary studies will be helpful. This is a Writing-Intensive Seminar. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; AS LCD; AS WI I; FA HUM; AR HUM