The increasing development of web communication networks and technologies plays today a fundamental role in spreading and penetrating Japanese visual popular culture into everyday experiences of new Italian generations. That’s why using popular culture as a teaching tool results in stimulating students’ active participation in learning processes and helps enhance the understanding of complex concepts and theories (i.e. both cultural and social issues and critical approaches). This perspective is obviously based on the view of the university class as a hermeneutic community. I use visual popular culture in my own teaching practice in two ways: 1. as a teaching tool to develop, teach, and understand Japanese classical literature in my class. 2. as a lens through which we can analyze Japan’s contemporary culture, society, and experience in the project ‘NipPop: Words and Forms from Tokyo to Bologna’. ‘NipPop: Words and Forms from Tokyo to Bologna’ is a project created and developed by the Japanese Language and Literature teaching staff of the School of Languages and Literatures, Translation and Interpreting – Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna. It focuses on contemporary Japan, particularly on those phenomena – such as cinema, manga, and animation – that have played a decisive role in spreading Japanese culture worldwide during the last decades. Our main annual event is held yearly in May/June and alternates between conferences with Japanese and Italian artists and international scholars, and activities involving the audience and the students directly, such as workshops, concerts, cosplay contests, screenings and performances with artists and authors. Through such engaging activities involving different forms of art and culture, we aim to suggest a reflection on the processes that led to the origins of fandom, as well as on the trends that are gaining widespread popularity in an increasingly heterogeneous audience and on important issues in Japanese contemporary reality and society. But what I want to focus on here is the educational experience in my class on Japanese classical literature. The title I have chosen for my course is Canon Formation, Cultural Identity, and Classical Japanese Literature. Its primary aim is to provide students with some basic tools to approach Japanese literary texts in order to facilitate the understanding of the most representative authors from the Nara period to the end of the Tokugawa era, and to stimulate the critical analysis of some fundamental notions such as "classic" or "literary canon." The re-writing of classical narratives and history in contemporary pop culture (first of all the many manga versions of the masterpiece of Heian period Genji monogatari [The Tale of Genji]) offers a perfect starting point for discussing those topics and involving students in various interactive activities which can make the classroom more dynamic and creative.

Manga as a Teaching Tool for Enhancing Learning and Understanding of Japanese Classical Literature

Paola Scrolavezza
2020

Abstract

The increasing development of web communication networks and technologies plays today a fundamental role in spreading and penetrating Japanese visual popular culture into everyday experiences of new Italian generations. That’s why using popular culture as a teaching tool results in stimulating students’ active participation in learning processes and helps enhance the understanding of complex concepts and theories (i.e. both cultural and social issues and critical approaches). This perspective is obviously based on the view of the university class as a hermeneutic community. I use visual popular culture in my own teaching practice in two ways: 1. as a teaching tool to develop, teach, and understand Japanese classical literature in my class. 2. as a lens through which we can analyze Japan’s contemporary culture, society, and experience in the project ‘NipPop: Words and Forms from Tokyo to Bologna’. ‘NipPop: Words and Forms from Tokyo to Bologna’ is a project created and developed by the Japanese Language and Literature teaching staff of the School of Languages and Literatures, Translation and Interpreting – Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna. It focuses on contemporary Japan, particularly on those phenomena – such as cinema, manga, and animation – that have played a decisive role in spreading Japanese culture worldwide during the last decades. Our main annual event is held yearly in May/June and alternates between conferences with Japanese and Italian artists and international scholars, and activities involving the audience and the students directly, such as workshops, concerts, cosplay contests, screenings and performances with artists and authors. Through such engaging activities involving different forms of art and culture, we aim to suggest a reflection on the processes that led to the origins of fandom, as well as on the trends that are gaining widespread popularity in an increasingly heterogeneous audience and on important issues in Japanese contemporary reality and society. But what I want to focus on here is the educational experience in my class on Japanese classical literature. The title I have chosen for my course is Canon Formation, Cultural Identity, and Classical Japanese Literature. Its primary aim is to provide students with some basic tools to approach Japanese literary texts in order to facilitate the understanding of the most representative authors from the Nara period to the end of the Tokugawa era, and to stimulate the critical analysis of some fundamental notions such as "classic" or "literary canon." The re-writing of classical narratives and history in contemporary pop culture (first of all the many manga versions of the masterpiece of Heian period Genji monogatari [The Tale of Genji]) offers a perfect starting point for discussing those topics and involving students in various interactive activities which can make the classroom more dynamic and creative.
Manga!: Visual-Pop Culture in ARTS Education
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Paola Scrolavezza
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/768726
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