Modern Japanese Art
This course examines the visual culture of modern Japan and the role of art in modern Japanese society from ca. 1850 through the late 20th century, a dynamic period covering Japan’s rapid modernization in the second half of the nineteenth century through the devastation of World War II and postwar rebuilding. The arts of this period are intricately linked to issues of national and cultural identity, issues that will form the core focus of our study. In addition, course themes emphasize in particular Japan's reaction to and engagement with the West as part of negotiating these issues of cultural identity. Topics are organized both thematically and chronologically, and include paintings, architecture, prints, photography, and exhibitions. The class is designed to foster active learning and cooperative inquiry, examination, and analysis of a range of written and visual materials.