This multi-media course explores the relationship among sex, gender, and sexuality in Japanese culture and society past and present. Our exploration covers topics ranging from mythology, gendered aesthetics, kinship, marriage, colonialism, militarization, sex workers in wartime and peacetime, work and play, sports, LGBT activism, mothers and fathers, delinquents and images of sexuality in advertising, among others. In addition to completing the readings and assignments for each class and section meeting, students will produce one eight-page paper and two essay-style exams. Attendance is mandatory; roll will be taken in lecture and section, and all absences must be approved. Course grades are based on attendance, class participation, exam results, and the quality of the paper. Note that I do not use percentages for each of the above variables in averaging your final grade as this not only is logistically impractical but may also be (wrongly) perceived as a way to "game the system." I am looking for intellectual engagement and improvement over the course of the semester. Your peers will set the "curve" based on their scholarly performance. Refer to C-tools for the syllabus, class schedule, assignments, and paper and exam dates. Make full use of the resources on C-tools; I have assembled them for your benefit!
There are four required texts available at local bookstores and on reserve in the undergraduate library: Gail Bernstein, ed., Recreating Japanese women, 1600-1945; Edward Fowler, San'ya: Laboring life in contemporary Tokyo; Sharon Kinsella, Adult manga: Culture and power in contemporary Japanese society; Jennifer Robertson, Takarazuka: sexual politics and popular culture in modern Japan.
Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100. C. 1,2,3,4