Jul 24, 2024  
College Catalog 2024-2025 
    
College Catalog 2024-2025

ASIA 327 - Japanese Art and the (Inter)National Modern

Cross-Listed as ART 327  
This course addresses the art and visual culture of Japan from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth century, a period of Japanese history marked by dramatic cultural, political, and social change.  The concepts of ‘modernism’ and ‘modernity’ were crucial elements in this change, sparking revolutionary shifts in the conception of art, empire, and identities (both personal and national) in Japan that would persist into the 21st century. Our class will discuss at length the visual arts from the 1850s to 1945, a time that saw foundational cultural, political, and social transformation in Japan as the nation developed from fledgling global power into a ultranationalist military hegemon in Asia; we will also consider artistic practices in the postwar era to understand the “crisis of the modern” that developed in the decades after the war as artists struggled to find their individual and national voices. Drawing on a diverse array of artistic forms and visual media, including painting, prints, sculpture, architecture, fashion, anime (Japanese cartoons), film, and photography, we will explore how themes such as trauma, nationalism, imperialism, war, protest, hybridity, and performativity have intersected with shifting notions of modern artistic and national identities inside and outside Japan.  Prerequisite(s): No prerequisites required; First Years are welcome. Alternate years. (4 Credits)