Japanese women writers wrote the most heralded novels and poetic diaries in the classical literary canon; this celebration of women's literary contributions is an anomaly among world literatures. Yet for over five hundred years, women's literary voices were silenced before reemerging in the modern era, when a renaissance of 'women's literature' (joryu bungaku) captured popular imagination, even as it confronted critical disparagement. This course traces the rise, fall and return of writing by women and the influence of attitudes toward gender on what was written and read through a wide array of literary texts, historical documents, and cultural artifacts. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).