The Story/History of Japan: Producing Knowledge by Integrating the Study of Japanese Literature and Japanese History

Peter James Kvidera

Abstract


This essay discusses the benefits to student learning when we integrate the study of Japanese literature and Japanese history through the curricular model of "linked courses."  The essay begins by examining the process of linking an introductory Japanese literature course and introductory Japanese history course, and continues by explaining its pedagogical advantages.  Specifically, the collaboration of literary and historical study provides students greater access to the material and, subsequently, the opportunity for deeper analysis.  Students can better understand how historical context informs the literature and how literary representation enhances historical knowledge.  But in addition, this teaching model provokes broader questions about the production of knowledge itself: the disciplinary integration creates a learning environment in which we can ask how we know what we know, or in this case, how we come to understand both the "story" and the "history" of Japan.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jll.2021.68



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