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ASIAN 207: Special Topics In Literature And Culture Of Asia

Meeting Time: 
TTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
DEN 206

Syllabus Description:

Asian 207 – University of Washington

Spring 2015

Modern and Contemporary Japanese Theatre

Instructor:                  Jyana S. Browne


Office:                         339 Art

Office Hours:             Thurs. 1:30-2:20pm and by appointment.                                          

Class:                        Tues/Thurs. 11:30-1:30, Denny 206.

Our Course Page on Wikipedia:


  • The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama – Ed. J. Thomas Rimer, Mitsuya Mori, and M. Cody Poulton (available at the UW Bookstore and in the UW library).
  • Additional readings available on Canvas.
  • Videos Available on the UW Language Lab Website.


  • Course Reserves are available at the UW East Asia Library in Gowen Hall.


We will study plays and performance forms from the 20th and 21st centuries. Our reading will include early 20th century modernisms, the avant-garde movements of the 60's, popular entertainment, such as kabuki and the all-female Takarazuka revue, and plays by contemporary playwrights. In the spirit of the writers we will study, who actively engaged with society to promote social change, our writing will focus on public scholarship. All readings will be in English, and no background is assumed.


  • To acquire a foundational knowledge of Japanese theatre’s historical development from the early 20th century to the present.
  • To analyze the plays with attention to their themes, structures, and performance styles.
  • To develop research skills and digital literacy.
  • To think critically about the production of knowledge and art for the general public.
  • To synthesize in-depth research into an article that can be understood by the general public.


Your overall grade for the class is based on your participation (in class and online) and the written assignments. The total percentage points you earn in the class will converted to the 4.0 scale according to the chart on Canvas. 97% or higher will earn a 4.0. The lowest passing grade is 55%.


1. Discussion – 10%

All students are expected to regularly and respectfully participate in class discussions and projects. Failure to participate will negatively impact your grade. For the purposes of this course, participation includes thoughtful and insightful comments and questions about the course materials and class discussion. Your comments should demonstrate that you have done the course readings and watched the videos.

2. Canvas Discussions – 20%

Students will respond to questions about the course readings and videos by 8am prior to each class meeting. The discussion boards will be accessible through the Canvas course website.  

Reflections Papers

Guided prompts will be provided on Canvas. 

   1.  First Responses Paper (3-5 page) – Due 4/14 – 10%

   2.    Second Response Paper (3-5 pages) – Due 6/8 – 10%

Any paper turned in after the due date will be considered late. Late papers will be accepted at a penalty of 10% of the grade of the paper for each 24-hour period the paper is late up to 4 days after the papers are due.

Wikipedia Project

Guided prompts will be provided on Canvas. 

  1.    Incremental Assignments – 5%

    1.     User Name & Online Training – Due 4/7
    2.     Wikipedia Edit – Due 4/21
    3.     Starter Article – Due 5/5
    4.     First Peer Review – Due 5/7
    5.     Article Expansion – Due 5/14
    6.      Image – Due 5/19
    7.     Second Peer Review – Due 5/21
  2.     Bibliography – Due 4/28 – 5%
  3.     Final Presentation – Due 6/4 – 10%
  4.     Wikipedia Page – Due 6/4 – 30%

Any assignment turned in after the due date will be considered late. Late assignments will be accepted at a penalty of 10% of the grade of the assignment for each 24-hour period the assignment is late up to 4 days after the assignments are due.


Since this course uses written assignments to evaluate your progress, I recommend visiting the writing centers on campus.


The University’s Seattle campus never closes, but classes may be cancelled due to heavy snow or other contingency. Such cancellations may be centrally ordered or done at the discretion of the instructor. During periods of especially inclement weather or other emergency situations, access the UW web site, check your email frequently, or contact me by email if you are uncertain whether class will be held. 


Please refer to the Bachelor’s Degree Planbook of the college of Arts and Sciences and the Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-120) to learn what behaviors constitute academic misconduct and applicable penalties.


Plagiarism is not acceptable and will negatively affect your grade.  All sources must be properly cited.  If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please send me an e-mail, make an appointment to meet with me, or see


The University of Washington’s policy “prohibits discrimination against members of the University community on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran.”  This policy also applies to our class discussions and group projects.

Disorderly or disruptive students can and will be asked to leave class for the day; further disruptive or disorderly conduct will result in a meeting with me and may also be reported to the appropriate dean.  For more information, please see the full UW Student Conduct Code at:


If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, 543-8924 (V/TDD).  If you already have a letter from DSS, please present it to me so I can accommodate your needs as soon as possible.


Use of laptops during class time is permitted for in-class work sessions on the Wikipedia Project only. During discussions and lectures, students will be expected to use pen and paper.


Specific reading, viewing, and writing assignments are listed on the chart on the following page and on Canvas.

Catalog Description: 
Introduction to the literature of one or more Asian traditions considered in its cultural context. Content varies depending on the specialization and interest of instructor. Texts in English translation.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
January 30, 2015 - 11:30pm