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Cornell University    
  Feb 21, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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ASIAN 2211 - Introduction to Japan

(GHB) (CA-AS)      
Fall (may be offered winter or summer). 3 credits. Letter grades only.

D. McKee.

This course provides a general introduction to the study of Japan in the humanities and social sciences.  Taking modern Japanese “national histories” as our framework, we will explore how Japan-the-nation has been constructed as a unity through time with narratives of continuity and development, while simultaneously highlighting points of difference and divergence that shake these narratives’ foundational concept of an underlying, essential “Japaneseness.”  While learning the standard, chronological “story” of Japan, therefore, students will also be exposed to the many “Japans” strategically included or elided in national histories.  We will bring out the sometimes startlingly different ways of conceiving self, other, community, and universe as they altered in response to changing circumstances through close examinations of literature, documents, scripture, and artwork in sections, and lectures exploring the varying configurations of rulership; space; rank/class; gender; sexuality, marriage and family; daily life responsibilities and diversions; and the secular and sacred over time in the Japanese islands. (GE)

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