Fall 2017 OWU Course on Japanese Literature & the Environment

A Fall 2017 course that can count as an Environmental Studies elective:

Comparative Literature (CMLT) 323 Elegance and Brutality: Topics in Modern Japanese Literature

The course will meet T/R from 2:40 – 4:00. It is a writing option course and meets diversity.

Instructor: Dr. Anne Sokolski

This course will look at the relationship between Japanese literature and environmental studies. Eco-Literary criticism is a new and growing field in literary studies and one in which Japan plays a significant contributing role. Japan is a country known for its sublime beauty as well as its mystifying brutality. It is a small island nation with a rich cultural history but little in the way of natural resources. While the religion of Shintoism and the philosophy of Taoism revere nature, Japan must also often transgress nature for the sake of economic development and global survival. The result is that Japan has both a reverent as well as pragmatic relationship with its environment. Fukushima is a recent example of the consequences of Japan’s industrial development. So how does a modern economically developed country balance its love for nature with its need to exploit it to compete in the global industrial world? These are the questions we will explore in this course as we study eco-literary criticism and the role of Japanese literature in this new field of environmental studies.

Contact Dr. Sokolski for more information.

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