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Scott Alexander Lineberger
Beloit College (Beloit, WI 53511-5595)
Creating Contexts for Japanese Ghosts and Monsters: Translations, Images, and Cultural Background

In order to overcome the challenges of teaching Japanese Ghosts and Monsters, I propose to use the tenure of the grant funding to collect relevant materials, translate key documents, and organize disperse texts into workable lesson plans. In this course students examine a broad range of Japanese texts (myths, prose fiction, drama, oral history, woodblock prints, and films) in order to investigate the cultural, social, and historical significance of supernatural Japanese creatures. We survey these materials in chronological order and consider how the changing depictions of the supernatural relate to transformations in Japanese society, culture, and religion. As depictions of the supernatural often function as forums in which societies present and work through their deepest fears and highest hopes, this course provides an opportunity to analyze issues in Japanese culture such as systems of defining and maintaining social roles (gender, class, race, and nationality), the relationship between native and imported religions, and the political functions of texts.

Project fields:
Asian Literature

Teaching Development Fellowships

Research Programs

$21,000 (approved)
$21,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2010 – 10/31/2010