ML 313-50 Yokai: Japanese Ghosts and Monsters
Dr. Kendra Sheehan
Online course taught in English.
This course will survey one of the more unusual aspects of Japanese culture, the role of the supernatural in Japan. We will examine various topics such as considering the historical and cultural contexts of yokai, how yokai were created and transform over time, how to categorize and use theory to study yokai, as well as the relationship of yokai in Japanese culture and storytelling.
Through a historical and cultural examination of the works published in ancient Japan to contemporary Japan, students will read interdisciplinary scholarly articles and research, as well as engaging in various methods for studying and writing about the relationship between the supernatural and spiritual elements of culture and everyday life. In addition, students will apply theoretical models to their research and observations in addition to critically analyzing some of the functions that literature and art can provide from the perspectives of gender, historical context, as well as via symbolic meanings that have risen from representations and practices.