The Tale of Genji in Japanese History and Popular Culture
Japan, Japanese popular culture, The Tale of Genji, Japanese cultural history, manga, graphic novels, Japanese illustrated scrolls
This study of the various renditions of the Tale of Genji will include contemporary graphic novels as well as pre-modern illustrated scrolls and prints. I will shift from a focus on medieval economic history of Japan to a cross-disciplinary project combining literature, art history and cultural history. The resulting course will allow students to discover the deep roots of contemporary popular culture in Japan's history. The project will enable me as a mid-career faculty member to transcend the disciplinary boundaries of history and come to grips intellectually with Japanese popular culture, a contemporary phenomenon embraced by many American young people.