ALL 5446 - Kabuki: A Pop, Queer, and Classical Theater in Japan
Kabuki, an all-male theater of "song (ka)/dance (bu)/acting (ki)" that came into being in the 17th century, still boasts popularity in Japan. This course explores kabuki in several contexts: historical, theatrical, literary, and theoretical. It aims to historicize this performing art in its four-hundred-year dynamic trajectory against the static understanding that it is a national, high culture. No less importantly, we inquire into theoretical implications of subject matter, such as citationality, gender construction, and the like. Furthermore, this course attends to what is usually marginalized and overlooked in kabuki historiography: koshibai (unlicensed small troupes of kabuki); onna yakusha (women kabuki actors who mastered the acting techniques established by male kabuki actors--including the technique of female impersonation). Open to anyone with an interest, no previous knowledge of Japanese studies, theater studies, or Japanese is required. All of the readings will be available in English. Audio-visual materials will be used whenever available and appropriate.