Reading and Composition on Topics in East Asian Humanities: "“To See and to Be Seen”" R1B

Sight can be described as a natural human capacity. But what does it mean to see, and to be seen? What is the relationship between the perceiving subject and the perceived object? What happens when one realizes that one has become the object of another’s perception? Through the work of writers, film directors, and thinkers ranging from Europe and East Asia, this course examines how the simple act of seeing raises artistic and philosophical questions about selfhood, performance, truth, beauty, power, and the nature of art itself. Materials that we will explore include Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex, the exemplary Greek tragedy, according to Aristotle, The Tale of Genji, often considered the world’s first novel, and Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro, perhaps the most the most important modern Japanese novel.