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This module is discontinued in the selected year. The information shown below is for the academic year that the module was last running in, prior to the year selected.

2015/16 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST3256 Narratives of Japanese Modernity: Fiction and Film

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Dr Irena Hayter

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2015/16

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module will engage with important literary texts and films within the broader field of Japanese modernity and its socio-political, cultural and technological contexts. Students will deepen their understanding of both the universality and specificity of the Japanese experience of the modern and its cultural articulations. The module is taught entirely in English and no knowledge of Japan or of the Japanese language is necessary.


On completion of this module, the students will:
- have achieved an in-depth understanding of the Japanese experience of the modern (from the 1890s to the present) as seen in important literary texts and films
- critically reflect on current notions and theories of modernity in general
- be familiar with key theoretical approaches (especially formal and historical) to both fiction and film
- be able to analyse cultural texts in terms of the social imaginaries and the ideological messages which they articulate

Skills outcomes
The course will strengthen skills for
- critical reading and viewing
- theoretically informed textual analysis
- developing, constructing and presenting arguments in both oral and written form


Rather than look at literature and film as separate and sharply divided forms of representation, the course will attempt to bring them together as symbolic responses to larger material and discursive developments. It will be structured around themes such as
- Meiji and the birth of the national subject
- time, narrative and empire
- 'the return to Japan'?
- sexual/textual politics
- postmodernism and the other
- Murakami Haruki, Japanimation and the transnational

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings22.004.00
Private study hours175.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

100 hours of individual reading
50 hours of seminar preparation
25 hours of preparation for presentation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be monitored through seminar participation and specially assigned individual oral presentations.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 01/06/2016


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