Social Hierarchy in East Asia
This course, which has a subtitle “Sino-Japanese Cultural Contexts,” is devoted to the analysis of various aspects of social, spiritual, artistic, and gender patterns of Japan (and China, Korea, and India to the extent needed for better comprehension of the sources of Japanese tradition). The focal point of the course is mediaeval Kamakura-Muromachi epochs, when most of crucial societal and cultural phenomena salient for the whole Japanese civilization originated or flourished. At the same time the chronological and geographic scope of the materials under scrutiny oscillates from Shakyamuni to the 20th century Zen masters or – while discussing gender interaction – from archaic ritual poetry utagaki to early modern love songs. The course is custom-designed by the instructor and built on his own research and publications. The close reading of the period literary and visual texts is a feature. Most lectures are conducted with PPP of original artefacts; handouts of texts are provided.