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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Text Comprehension/Critiquing Seminar

Shoko Hide
4th-Year Student at the School of Culture, Media and Society

Described simply, the Text Comprehension/Critiquing Seminar is a seminar in which students read and understand novels. However, this simple description may mislead people into thinking that the seminar is similar to a high school class in modern Japanese in which students search for central themes. On the contrary, Professor Watanabe’s seminar places more emphasis on the novel’s story rather than on central themes. When searching for central themes, readers are prone to overlook details such as flowers or gestures appearing in a novel. Focusing on such details makes reading more interesting and rich. This is the comprehension of novels taught in Professor Watanabe’s seminar.

Of course, in order to conduct productive reading comprehension, it is necessary to read many novels and reviews. As one guideline, a list of “must-read novels and reviews” is distributed to seminar students. The list contains 100 novels and over 70 reviews, all of which are famous works that tear down existing values. Professor Watanabe uses the term “incident” to refer to the encounter with a work that shakes the reader’s values.

Professor Watanabe’s seminar is filled with students who have become addicted to encounters with such “incidents.” Indeed, students search for new “incidents” by exchanging information on lectures and recommended works which do not appear on the list. There are countless opportunities to encounter such “incidents” in the seminar.

Why not encounter an “incident” in Professor Watanabe’s seminar and discover a whole new identity rather than searching for yourself?

Students sit around Professor Watanabe during cherry blossom viewing

A portion of the “must-read” list for reviews

School: School of Culture, Media and Society
Faculty Member: Professor Naomi Watanabe, School of Culture, Media and Society