Dismembered and Still Kicking: Kokoro in the High School Textbook

Event time: 
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Hall of Graduate Studies (HGS), Room 211 See map
320 York St.
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

The Council on East Asian Studies is pleased to present the Eighteenth Annual John W. Hall Lecture in Japanese Studies.
Its regular teaching in Japanese high schools insures Kokoro’s place in the canon. But what high school students read is not the entire novel by Natsume Sōseki, but an extract consisting of 1/12th to 1/8th of the work, a situation that one major critic has called “a kind of sickness.” What does it mean that a large number of readers encounter only a portion of a prominent literary work? What kinds of readings are enabled or disabled in the process of abridgement and anthologization? This talk examines the high school textbook as a material form in order to gauge its role in the transtemporal movement of a canonical novel. By considering Kokoro as a “non-human actor,” it argues for the surprising health of the dismembered text.

Open to: 
General Public