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University of California Irvine Territory of Light Discussion

University of California Irvine Territory of Light Discussion

Question Description

  1. Japan List – five (or four, for the mid-term) items about Japanese history, culture, geography, language, etc. as posed by our texts.

1a. Some questions will identify background information that you find yourself wanting as you read our primary texts. In this case, answers might include a link to the website or article where your classmate found an answer, or a sentence/passage from one of our other texts that may contain an answer, or a paraphrase of a point Prof. Long made in lecture. These questions will help us see that it’s easy to jump on the internet or back into course readings and assemble needed facts & background.

1b. Some questions will be rhetorical, meaning that you already know the answer. In other words, you notice that one of our texts is teaching us something interesting about Japan, so you ask a question that one of your classmates will be able to answer by referring to a quote or issue that caught your attention. These questions will help us see what our course texts are bringing into focus about 20th century Japan.

1c. You can also invent other ways to create “Japan” items. Go for it! The goal is for the Discussion Board exchanges to be interesting, and for your edited lists to have a certain writerly flair.

  1. Feminism List – five items (four for the mid-term)

This list should consist of five items about the feminist ideas we are encountering in our readings as they relate to your personal feminist beliefs/ curiosities/ investments/ questions. Why did you take a class with the word “feminism” in the title? Are you a feminist? What does this mean for you, as compared to what it means for the feminists about whom we are reading? Is your feminism evolving as you read / live / think? In life and in our texts, when does feminism feel most urgent? When does it become boring? When is it most uncomfortable? When is it enlightening and empowering? How does it intersect with questions of class, race, and sexuality in ways that make it more and less powerful? What would it mean if its goals were realized? Does this ever happen? Or is feminism only ever an aspirational politics, oriented toward a future?

You don’t have to answer all of these questions, or even most of them. Just use what helps you make interesting lists. If you want to make this list highly personal, go ahead. If you want to make it more scholarly, that’s great too.

  1. Love List

This list should gather five items that push us to think creatively about love. What kinds of love do the people in our texts want for themselves, and what kinds to they have to settle for instead? Do they ever change their definition to demand more, then get what they want? Is it possible to have love but not equality? Love but not freedom? Love but not justice? Love but not food? How are our texts distinguishing between heterosexual love, homosexual love, homosocial love, trans love, parent-child love, and other kinds of love? How do the three big feminist debates – abortion, prostitution, maternal care-work – bear on our characters’ ability to love and be loved?

  1. Literature List

This list should gather the sorts of phrases and passages that we would have used as textual evidence if we were writing mid-term and final papers. In her recorded lectures, Prof. Long will offer a reading of each primary text. Using powerpoints, Prof. Long will give a thesis statement and a list of textual evidence for each reading. You can use your “Literature” list in various ways, for instance 1) to gather additional textual evidence for the thesis statement (TS) Prof. Long proposed, 2) to propose an alternate TS, 3) to identify a passage that is really calling out for attention, but that doesn’t seem to fit with the TS.

  1. Voice List

This is a list where you find an adjective to describe a certain author’s voice. Is it feisty, angry, remote, obscure, shocking, what? Primary texts may be easiest to describe, but secondary texts are also fine. The challenge will be to find an adjective not already over-used in our class discussions. For each adjective, offer a sentence from the text as textual evidence. If you are “answering” a voice post on the Discussion Board, you can offer a second adjective to corroborate or tweak the first, or you can take issue with the adjective and offer textual evidence as to why your adjective is better. Also relevant to “voice” posts are commentaries on finding-the-voice. How much did the speaker have to overcome to speak at all? Is anything still standing in her way?

By the end of the quarter we will have voted as a group and chosen one “voice” adjective for each main author: Tamura Toshiko, It? Noe, Sata Ineko, Hayashi Fumiko, Tsushima Y?ko, Sakiyama Tami and Kawakami Mieko.

Alternately, two of your five “Voice” items can be diary entries about your experience with the audiobook assignment. These can be informal and fun. Tell us about what surprised you, what was challenging, what was rewarding, your process, your creativity, your collaboration, etc.

Grading Criteria for Mid-Term and Final Lists

A range: complete lists, polished writing, clear investment of time and thought, creative flair, evidence of having fun and being interested

B range: incomplete lists, unedited writing, less evidence of caring / thinking, less creativity, student maybe had other priorities but got the job done

F range: no submission

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