Contemporary Japan in the Arts

Subject ENGL40021 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to fourth year honours in English & theatre studies, and Japanese; the postraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma in English & theatre studies, and Japanese; the postgraduate diploma in arts & cultural management; or the Master of Arts & Cultural Management.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Peter Eckersall

Subject Overview:

This subject investigates modern and contemporary art forms in Japan including theatre, film, literature and visual arts. We consider how these forms of artistic production have developed and how they relate to historical and contemporary cultural trends, thus, cotemporary arts show us diverse insightful perspectives on Japan and its people. From a brief introduction to traditional Japanese aesthetic theory, the subject will consider in detail the radically innovative era of the 1960s. Artistic practices since then, including 21st century trends in hybridity and pluralism will also examined. Contemporary Japan in the Arts explores aesthetic production in relation to cultural debates and Japan's global branding as aesthetically cool. Seminar classes will introduce artistic production through presentations, discussion, reading, visual documentation and viewing of works on DVD. Students will be able to work on a seminar project in an area of their expertise and/or interest.


Students completing the subject will be able to:

  • have an understanding of key moments in modern Japanese history;
  • read, workshop and critically analyse significant plays and performances;
  • be familiar with main styles of performance, major artists and theatre groups, key innovations in performing arts;
  • critically debate works of art in relation to wider cultural, historical and political perspectives; and
  • understand and critically debate unique features of Japanese cultural production and Japan's experience of modern and postmodern cultures, explore the influence of Japanese theatre and performance on global theatre culture.

A written essay 3500 words 60% (due in the examination period) and a seminar presentation paper equivalent to 1500 words 40% (due one week after presentation). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • In addition, prescribed viewings of DVD material will be made available through the library.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to:

  • prepare and present their ideas in both verbal and written mode to an advanced level and in conformity to conventions of academic presentation;
  • participate in discussion and group activities and be sensitive to the participation of others;
  • apply creative and critical thinking in the analysis of artistic works;
  • manage time effectively in the completion of assessment tasks; and
  • access a broad range of resource material, including traditional text and electronic media.
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
150 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
200 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
Asian Studies
Asian Studies
English and Theatre
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies

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