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HUM Seminar Literature and New Media


Admission requirements

This course is only accessible for BA Japanstudies students. Students must have successfully completed their propedeuse, two BA2 seminars and the course Texts IIb.

Admission to a cluster seminar happens only through application via the head of the programme board or coordinator of studies.


This BA3 seminar carries the subtitle Fantasy and Horror in Japanese Literature and Film. In our course, we will look at various fantastical genres, stories, and the creatures and people that populate them in order to understand the roles of the fantastic and the horrific in constructing Japanese cultural identity. We will examine a variety of media – including prose fiction, cinema, comics and television – and use these as a lens through which to think about concepts such as national identity, spirituality, and the meaning of the ‘Other.’ To help us think about these ideas, we will contextualise our readings through a broad selection of secondary literature, including academic and other sources in Japanese.
During the semester, you will train how to reflect on diverse sources in the form of short, biweekly web postings. In addition, you will use skills acquired in the first two years of the Japan Studies programme to report on your own research in a research-in-progress presentation and a final paper, to be written on one topic of choice.

Course objectives

When you finish this course, you will be able to...

  • ...identify key media, genres, stories and concepts related to the fantastic in Japanese literature and popular media.

  • ...critically reflect on academic discussions that investigate these media, genres, stories and concepts, and evaluate their merit.

  • ...analyse, summarise and reflect on relevant Japanese language source material, both academic and popular.

  • on your analysis of English and Japanese language sources in written form.

  • on original research into a topic related to this seminar in verbal and written form.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assessment of the course is broken down into two categories.

Participation (50% of the final mark)

  • You are required to attend at least 70% of all sessions.

  • You are expected to show your individual engagement with classroom discussions of the sources studied before each session (presence and participation together form 10% of the final assessment).

  • You are required to write at least five (5) out of the total six (6) web postings (20% of the final assessment).

  • You are to give an oral presentation about original research on a topic of choice (20% of the final assessment).

  • Final paper (50% of the final mark)

To receive a passing grade, you are to obtain at least a passing grade for the Final Paper.


There is no resit for the participation element:

  • If you miss more than 30% of sessions, you cannot successfully finish this seminar;

  • If you miss or fail two or more web postings, you will receive a fail for one or more of your required web postings;

  • Everyone will receive feedback on their presentation, but you do not have an opportunity to redo their presentation. Instead, you are expected to use this feedback to improve your research and incorporate it into your final paper.

  • The resit for the final paper takes the format of a first draft and final version. After submitting a draft for the first deadline, you will receive feedback and may always rewrite your draft for a final version. This rewritten version counts as the resit for the final paper.

Inspection and feedback

At the latest when the result of the examination is announced, it will be indicated how and at what time the discussion of the examination will take place. In any case, a follow-up discussion will be organized if a student requests this within 30 days after the results have been announced.

Reading list

Compulsory reading material will be made available through a combination of online access and a physical reader which can be ordered at the following link:


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, please contact the teacher (right in the information bar).

  • For information about registrations, admission, etc: Education Administration Vrieshof