This course tackles about a millennium of pre-modern Japanese political, social, and cultural history (roughly, 700-1700). Instead of attempting to cover the period chronologically, as an introductory survey might, this class is structured as a series of case studies. Each of these will take a primary source as its point of departure and explore one or more facets of Japanese history and writing. In the course of each case study, lectures and discussions will branch out from the main source to examine its historical context as well as the (political, cultural, textual) traditions that informed that source s composition. In general, students will read the entire texts of the main sources (or significant portions of them), along with scholarly articles and shorter excerpts from other sources, composed at the same time or in the same vein/genre. During lectures and discussions alike, students will be asked to engage the readings, so as to grasp the specifics of Japanese history and practice the analytical skills required of historical discourse.
Section 401 - LEC
MW 0200PM-0330PM