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Japanese Cultural Studies (MA)

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  • Objectives
    Japanese cultural studies, though still a comparatively young field, has produced some of the most fascinating critical debates about, and innovative research in, the fields of modernity, the politics of national identity, ethnicity, gender and the politics of sexuality, consumerism, new media, and the globalisation of popular culture. Engaging with these issues through a variety of media, this interdisciplinary degree provides you with an advanced understanding of modern and contemporary Japan and its culture. It combines concerns and approaches from history, literature, popular culture, media and gender studies. You will explore a wide range of Japanese cultural productions in their social and historical formations and consider related critical debates in contemporary Japan. Promoting comparative perspectives, the programme also allows you to look at Japanese culture in the regional context of East Asia, and to reflect upon western representations of Japan and the ‘Far East’.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements Good first degree or overseas equivalent in a humanities or social science subject. (Please note: the degree is taught in English.)
  • Academic Title
    Japanese Cultural Studies (MA)
  • Course description
    The degree programme consists of four main components and a dissertation workshop. The four main components are: core course, option modules, research skills course, and a dissertation.

    Core course
    The compulsory core course, Key Issues in Cultural Studies on Japan, provides an overview of important themes in Japanese cultural history and a good grounding in the theoretical issues and methodology relevant to Japanese cultural studies.

    Option courses
    You will take four options from a range, which currently includes:

    -Orientalism and (No) Beyond? Japan in European Writing, Film and Media after 1945
    -Gaijin Desire: Representing the Inscrutable Occident in Contemporary Japan
    -Memory, History, Media: Representations of Twentieth-Century East Asian Past(s) in Popular Culture
    -Nikkeijin: The Japanese Diaspora
    -East Eats West: Food Culture in Modern Japan
    Gender Discourse in East Asia: Nationalism and Transnational Feminist -Politics in East Asia
    -Men and Masculinities in Contemporary East Asia
    -Gender Discourse in Japan: Issues in Japanese Feminism
    -Narrating the Nation: The Modern Novel in Japan
    -Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Japanese Fiction
    -Modernity and Identity in Japanese Art, Craft and Design 1868-1945.

    Please note: not all options are offered every year. You should always confirm module availability before enrolling.

    Most courses are taught in seminar groups. These give you full opportunities to develop your own ideas in discussion with other students in the class.

    The core course is assessed by two essays of 4000 words. Each option is assessed by one essay of 4000 words. The research skills course is assessed by a critical literature review of 2000–3000 words, and the dissertation workshop by a report of 2000–3000 words.

    A dissertation of a maximum of 15,000 words must be submitted by 30 September in the final year of study. You will choose the subject in consultation with your supervisor.

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