Images of East Asia: Mapping Girlhood in Modern and Contemporary Societies


What does it mean to be a girl in East Asian societies? Rebellious, heroic, boyish, kawaii (cute), activist.These later images of girl subvert the earliest good-wife-and-wise-mother ideal of women that was immensely influential during the late nineteenth-century Japan and other East Asian regions. This course explores various images of girl and young women in twentieth-century film and literature through which questions of national characters, cultural identity, sexuality, race, class, and age were debated. In particular, we will examine how different historical trends such as nationalism, youthhood, discourse of sexuality, (post)colonialism found conflicted expressions of gendered message in girl images from literature, films, and TV shows in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong after Meiji Restoration. In this course, we ask what a "girl" is/supposed to be and how the agency of girl functions and has been reconstructed by writers, filmmakers, and artists as well as companies to achieve political, ideological, and economic goals. As a core component of this exploration, we will explore we will explore fiction, poetry, films, anime, artworks that features major girl characters as well as music videos of girl groups, including works from writers such as Tayama Katai, Qiu Jin, Na Hye-sok, Ding Ling, iconic or award-winning films by Yasujiro Ozu, Sun Yu, and Yang Yajie.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD

Section 41

Images of East Asia: Mapping Girlhood in Modern and Contemporary Societies
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