Spring 2023 Course Highlight | The Floating World: A History of Japanese Prints

Professor Steffani Bennett will be teaching ART HIST 411/775 | The Floating World: A History of Japanese Prints MW 4:00–5:15PM. Sophomore standing, Humanities Breadth, L&S credit. Register here. Description: Technological advancements in woodblock design in seventeenth-century Japan led to a flourishing print culture that permeated all aspects of Japanese society. This course explores the woodblock print tradition in Japan from the mid-seventeenth century to the modern era. Throughout the semester, we will study a wide spectrum of print genres, including prints featuring images of courtesans, kabuki actors, famous places in the city of Edo, landscapes of Mt. Fuji, war propaganda, and Japan’s transition into modernity. In looking at these different types of prints, we will consider the multilateral agency and multi-step process involved in making a woodblock print, the relationship between prints and preceding forms of pictorial culture, the print as cultural mirror and constructed artifice, the effects of consumer culture and censorship on print culture, issues of gender representation, and the introduction of woodblock prints to the West.