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(Offered as ASLC 244 and ARHA 244)
Kyoto was established as the capital of Japan in 794 and remained the site of the imperial palace until 1868. For much of its history the city was home to Japan’s most influential religious thinkers, writers, and artists and while today Kyoto is a modern city of over a million people, it still is thought to define traditional Japanese culture. This class will explore the intersection of the art and literature produced in the city throughout its long history. Both were deeply influenced by Buddhism and Shinto, so the class will examine some religious texts as well as novels, poetry and folk tales, painting, sculpture, architecture and crafts. Among the topics that will be covered are the high value placed on artistic accomplishment within the aristocratic culture of the eleventh century, millenarianism in the late Heian period, multiple civil wars, Zen culture and the arts and architecture of the late medieval era, the birth of drama in Japan, and modern writers’ and artists’ nostalgia for the past.
Spring semester. Professors Morse and Van Compernolle.
How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to ASLC majors
Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Written work, readings, independent research, oral presentations, group work, visual analysis, active participation in class discussion.