The University of Tokyo Graduate
School of Arts and Sciences

Language and Information Sciences


The University of Tokyo

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Department of Language and Information Sciences

3-8-1, Komaba, Meguroku, Tokyo 153-8902 Japan

TEL: 81-3-5454-6376

FAX: 81-3-5454-4329

Studies of Literary Theory

To explore theories and put them into practice in order to read literary texts in new ways that is one of our central aims. Indeed we form the biggest group of literary scholars in Komaba. More than half of the faculty are specialists in the literatures of English, French, German, Japanese and Russian.

Unlike the Department of Humanities in Hongo, however, we do not impose strict divisions according to language. Students can explore different languages and cultures freely. While they can certainly study particular authors in particular languages, they are also provided with courses on complex trans-linguistic subjects such as medieval legends, Romanticism and modernism. Questions concerning the translation of literature are of course important as well.

We approach literary studies with a close and critical eye on methodology and theory. We deal with wide-ranging literary theories from Formalism, structuralism, psychoanalysis and deconstruction to postcolonial criticism and cultural studies.

Finally we encourage students to study new or minor authors who have been neglected in conventional literary studies. It is surely important to read the classics but we also expect students to be bold enough to explore fresh authors and living issues that cast light on the contemporary world.