Citizen, Subject, Traitor: The Paradox of National(ist) Literature

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30-4:20
SLN: 5213
Classroom: SIG 224
Instructors: Scott Swaner and Ted Mack

This class will focus on literature (in English translation) written in Japanese and Korean and analyzing questions of linguistic and national identity. Ethnically Korean authors treated include three groups that have been displaced to the margins of empire: Korean colonial subjects in Korea and Japan, including so-called "collaborators"; Korean writers in postcolonial Korea; and ethnic Koreans writing in Japan throughout the twentieth century. For comparative purposes, three ethnically Japanese writers who dealt with related issues are also included. The extreme situation faced by ethnically Korean writers reveals fissures that many other socio-political contexts conceal through relatively homogeneous cultural-linguistic communities and the naturalization of the nation-state. In order to highlight these continuities, we will supplement the literary texts with a variety of theoretical texts in postcolonial studies, nationalism and empire studies, ethnic studies, and identity studies.


PREREQUISITES: Neither Japanese nor Korean language ability is a prerequisite for this class; all readings are in English translation.

PARTICIPATION: All class members will be expected to complete all assigned readings before class meets. At the beginning of each class, one student will be chosen at random to summarize the story and present a reading of that story. This presentation will strongly affect the participation component of the final grade. After that presentation, other students will be called on to respond to the reading. Students should make use of their critical readings to inform their comments. The ability to make a productive and interesting point when selected will affect one's participation grade, as will voluntary contributions to class in the form of questions and comments. Late arrivals disrupt class; therefore you are expected to arrive on time. Please turn off all beepers and cell phones before class begins.

EXAMINATIONS: Two exams will be given, each made up of identification questions and short essay questions.

GRADING: Your final grades will consider your participation (30%), your mid-term exam (30%), and your final exam (40%). Though the quality of your work is central to your grade, evaluations of that quality will take into consideration individual skills. Effort will be rewarded.

STUDY GROUPS: We encourage students to meet outside of class to discuss the texts. Please note that this does not include dividing up the reading of a story; all students will be expected to have read all of the stories, in full.

CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM: The presentation of another's words and ideas as one's own is a serious offense; violations will be dealt with according to the University codes of conduct, which stipulate sanctions up to and including expulsion.

ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS: We will do everything we can to accommodate students with particular needs. To request such an accommodation, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you require such accommodation, we can discuss ways to meet those needs.


John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith, eds., Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 1995)
Chang-Rae Lee, A Gesture Life (Riverhead, 2000)
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001)
Oda Makoto, The Breaking Jewel, trans. Donald Keene (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003)
Kannani Yuasa Katsuei, Kannani and Document of Flames: Two Japanese Colonial Novels, trans. Mark Driscoll (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)

A copy of each required text will be on reserve (2 hour loan, no overnight) in the East Asian Library in Gowen Hall. Students with Japanese and/or Korean language ability are encouraged to use the original texts, which can also be found in the library.

Some texts (marked with an *) will be made available as an electronic reserves (in PDF format), which can be accessed through the University of Washington E-reserves. Downloading of the texts requires acceptance of applicable copyright laws.

Other texts (with hyperlinks) are available directly, usually through JSTOR (UW Restricted); note that there are special instructions for accessing these resources from off campus.

Reading Schedule (not all readings required; assignments subject to change.)




Definitions of the Nation
  • J. G. Fichte, Addresses to the German Nation
  • Ernest Renan, “What is a Nation?” in Nationalism, p. 17.
  • Joseph Stalin, "The Nation" in Nationalism, pp. 18-20.
  • Max Weber, "The Nation" in Nationalism, pp. 21-25.
  • Benedict Anderson, "Introduction" from Mapping the Nation (Verso, 1996), pp. 1-16.*


Japanese Imperialism

Kim So-Wol, "Azaleas"*
Yi Sanghwa, "Will Spring Return to Stolen Fields?"*

  • Mark R. Peattie, "The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945" Cambridge History of Japan, vol. 6 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988) pp. 217-70.*


Japanese and Korean National Identity

  • Maruyama Masao, “The Premodern Formation of Nationalism” in Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974) 323-67.*
  • Henry H. Em, "Minjok as a Modern and Democratic Construct: Sin Ch'aeoho's Historiography" in Colonial Modernity in Korea (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999) 336-61.*
  • "The Nationalist Movement" in Sourcebook of Korean Civilization (New York: Columbia University Press) 428-36.*


Homelands and Homes

Yi Sang, poems [1931-32], “Wings” [1936]*

  • Edward Said, “Consolidated Vision: Narrative and Social Space” from Culture and Imperialism (New York: Vintage Books, 1994) 62-80.*


In the Eyes of a Child

Yuasa Katsuei, Kannani [1934] in Kannani and Document of Flames: Two Japanese Colonial Novels, trans. Mark Driscoll (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2005).

  • Frantz Fanon, "Concerning Violence" in The Wretched of the Earth, trans. Constance Farrington (New York: Grove Press, 1968), 35-94.*


Political Subordination/Gender Subordination

GUEST: Dr. Chie Ikeya, Rockefeller Resident Fellow, University of Washington

Yuasa Katsuei, Document of Flames [1935] in Kannani and Document of Flames: Two Japanese Colonial Novels, trans. Mark Driscoll (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2005).

  • Floya Anthias and Nira Yuval-Davis, "Women and the Nation-State" in Nationalism, p. 312-16.


The Importance of Names

Kajiyama Toshiyuki, The Clan Records: Five Stories of Korea, trans. Yoshiko Dykstra (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1995).*

  • Ernest Gellner, "Nationalism and Modernization" in Nationalism, pp. 55-62.
  • Eric Hobsbawm, "The Nation as Invented Tradition" in Nationalism, p. 76-82.
  • Benedict Anderson, "Imagined Communities" in Nationalism, p. 89-95.


Proving Loyalty

Oda Makoto, The Breaking Jewel [1998], trans. Donald Keene (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003)

  • Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, “Sovereignty of the Nation-State” in Empire (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001) 93-113.*


Finding a Place in Japan

Kim Sa-ryang, “Hikari no naka ni (Into the Light)” [1939] (Chris Scott [trans.] manuscript)*


Fighting Enemies, Identifying Allies

Chôn Kwangyong, "Kapitan Ri" [1962] in Land of Exile: Contemporary Korean Fiction, trans. and ed., Marshall R. Pihl and Bruce Fulton (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1992), 58-83.*


Living through the Empire

Ri Kai-sei (Yi Hoe-song), "The Woman Who Fulled Clothes" [1972], trans. Beverly Nelson, in Peter Lee, ed. Flowers of Fire: Twentieth-Century Korean Stories, revised edition. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986, pp. 344-372.*


Review session

02/16 Midterm exam (new date)


Writing the Past

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).

  • Eric Hobsbawm, "The Rise of Ethno-Linguistic Nationalisms" in Nationalism, pp. 177-83.


Dictee, continued.

  • Homi K. Bhabha, “DissemiNation: time, narrative, and the margins of the modern nation” in Nation and Narration (London: Routledge, 1990) 291-322.*
  • Homi K. Bhabha, "Narrating the Nation" in Nationalism, pp. 306-11.


Writing the Present

Chang-Rae Lee, A Gesture Life (Riverhead, 2000)

  • Gayatri Chakrabarty Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" from Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, eds. Carry Nelson and Lawrence (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1988.)*


A Gesture Life, continued.

GUEST: Dr. Hwa-Shin Lee, Rockefeller Resident Fellow, University of Washington

  • Partha Chatterjee, "National History and its Exclusions" in Nationalism, pp. 209-13.
  • Partha Chatterjee, “Whose Imagined Community?” in The Nation and its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 3-13.*
  • Partha Chatterjee, "Beyond the Nation? Or Within?" Social Text 56 (Autumn, 1998), 57-69.


Responsibilities of the Artist

Yû Miri, "Festival for the Fish" from Half a Century of Japanese Theater II (Kinokuniya, 2000), 111-61.*



FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 4:20-6:20 p.m., SIG 224


Required Materials:

In order to read PDF documents, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free and can be downloaded here.


Participation, preparation, and worksheets (30%):

All class members will be expected to complete assigned readings before class meets. The participation grade will be particularly affected by your presentation of the text on days when you are randomly selected to summarize the story and present a reading of that story.

Midterm Exam (30%; Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 2:30-4:20):

The midterm exam will be made up of identification questions and short essay questions.

Final Exam (40%; Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 4:30-6:20):

The final exam will be made up of identification questions and short essay questions.

Fair Use:

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.