Academic year
2020/2021 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM002N (AF:333142 AR:181016)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
This is one of the characterising courses within the "Japan" curriculum of the Corso di Laurea Magistrale in"Lingue e Civiltà dell'Asia e dell'Africa Mediterranea".
The course contributes to the attainment of the teaching goals of the Corso di Laurea in the area of language skills, but it also invests the cultural and humanities areas.
The main goals of the course are: to provide some knowledge on the history of contemporary Japanese literature of the last 30 years; to provide tools for the analysis and discussion of literary phenomena; to make the students acquire the skills to analyze the literary texts covered in the course with theoretical tools; to develop the judgement faculty and the skills to produce and communicate a piece of interpretive discourse on the themes of the course.
Knowledge and understanding:
- to know and understand concepts and tools from the fields of literary criticism
- to deepen the knowledge and understanding of historical contexts through the analysis of literary texts. The historical context may have already been studied in other teachings from different points of view (e.g. historical, artistic ...)

Applying knowledge and understanding:
- to analyze and interpret literary texts by using concepts and tools from the fields of literary criticism and historiography
- to critically apply concepts from literary historiography to the historical period studied in the course

Making judgements:
- to produce critical judgments on the textual and historical-literary phenomena that are part of the program by using arguments that are critically and historically sound
- to subject various types of sources (academic and creative texts) to critical examination
- to perfect one's capacity to criticize essentialist and stereotypical discourses on "Japanese culture"

-to write an essay of analysis of a literary text with the appropriate use of critical theory
- to express and re-elaborate the contents of the program in oral form, in a synthetic and effective way, without resorting to automatisms and schematisms resulting from a mnemonic study

Lifelong learning skills:
- to know how to take notes in an effective way
- to know how to critically integrate the study of different materials (notes, slides, manuals, creative texts, academic articles)
- to be able to independently study materials and topics not covered during the lectures
- to refine one's ability to study materials in English and Japanese
Students should possess a good knowledge of modern and contemporary Japanese literature, acquired through (however not exclusively) Japanese Literature classes of the undergraduate program.The ability to read a literary text in Japanese is not mandatory but very recommended.
The Contemporary Japanese Literary text, inside-out.
Through the analysis of a selected works of Japanese fictions in translation, the course aims at giving a broader knowledge of Japanese contemporary literary production in the last 30 years. We will take into consideration works by the following authors: Abe Kazushige, Furukawa Hideo, Itō Hiromi, Kawakami Hiromi, Kawakami Mieko, Matsuda Aoko, Murakami Haruki, Murakami Ryū, Murata Sayaka, Ōe Kenzaburō, Taguchi Randi, Takahashi Gen'ichirō, Tawada Yōko, Yū Miri.
Abe Kazushige, Nipponia Nippon (trad. G. Coci), E/O, 2018 (ニッポニアニッポン, 2001)
Furukawa Hideo, Una lenta nave per la Cina. Murakami RMX (trad. G. Coci), Sellerio, 2020 (中国行きのスロウボートRMX, 2003)
Itō Hiromi, “I am Anjuhimeko” (transl. J. Angles), U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, 2007, No. 32 (2007), pp. 76-91 (わたしはあんじゅひめ子である, 1993)
Itō Hiromi, Wild Grass on the Riverbank (transl. J. Angles) Notre Dame, IN: Action Books, 2014 (河原荒草, 2005)
Kawakami Hiromi, God Bless You, 2011, (transl. T. Goossen & M. Shibata), Granta, March 2012 ( ) (神様, 2011)
Kawakami Mieko, Seni e uova (trad. G. Coci), Edizioni e/o, 2020 (夏物語 2019)
Matsuda Aoko, The Girl Who is Getting Married (transl. A. Turvil), Strangers Press, 2017 (「もうすぐ結婚する女」, スタッキング可能, 2016)
Matsuda Aoko, Where the Wild Ladies Are (transl. P. Barton), Soft Skull Pr, 2020 (おばちゃんたちのいるところ, 2016)
Murakami Haruki, “Una lenta nave per la Cina”, L’elefante scomparso e altri racconti (trad. A. Pastore 2001), Einaudi, 2009 (中国行きのスロウ・ボート, 1980)
Murakami Ryū, Popular Hits of the Showa Era (transl. R. McCarthy), Pushkin Press, 2011 (昭和歌謡大全集, 1994)
Murata Sayaka, La ragazza del convenience store (trad. G. Coci), Edizioni e/o, 2018 (コンビニ人間, 2016)
Ōe Kenzaburō, Il salto mortale (trad. G. Coci), Garzanti, 2006 (宙返り, 1999) [estratti]
Taguchi Randi, Fujisan (trans. R. Mahtani), Amazon Crossing, 2012 (富士山, 2004)
Takahashi Gen'ichirō, Koisuru genpatsu (恋する原発 'Il reattore nucleare innamorato'), 2011 [trad. fr.: La Centrale en chaleur (tr. Sylvain Cardonnel), Books Edition, 2013]
Takahashi Gen'ichirō, Sayonara Gangtsers (trad. G. Coci), BUR, 2008 (さようなら、ギャングたち, 1982)
Tawada Yōko, The Bridegroom was a Dog (transl. M. Mitsutani), Kodansha US, 2003 (犬婿入り, 1993)
Tawada Yōko, The Emissary (transl. M. Mitsutani), New Directions, 2018 (献灯使, 2014)
Yū Miri, Scene di famiglia (trad. M. Morresi), Marsilio, 2001 (家族シネマ. 1997)
Yū Miri, Tokyo Ueno Station (transl. M. Giles), Riverhead Books, 2020 (JR上野駅公園口, 2014)
The achievement of the objectives of the course will be evaluated as follows:

1) a short essay (max 3000 words, 50% of the final mark) elaborated individually, focusing on the analysis/commentary of a work chosen by the student among any texts from the period covered by the course that has not been analyzed in class. The essay will be submitted before the oral exam This part of the exam evaluates the capacity of the student to apply the knowledge and skills acquired through the course and his/her communicative skills and autonomy of judgement.

2) an oral exam (50% of the final mark) focusing on the general part of the program, as well as on the discussion of the short essay. Starting from a topic of his/her choice, the student is supposed to show his/her knowledge of the topics covered in the syllabus and to present them in a properly formalized way.
Frontal lessons + seminar activities.
Attendance and participation during classes will not be evaluated, but are nevertheless strongly encouraged.
This exam (with this syllabus) will be available only for the 4 "appelli" of the 2020-21 academic year. Starting from 2021-22, a new syllabus will be in use.
written and oral
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 29/01/2021