GH

Gustav Christopher Heldt

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Office location and address
161 New Cabell Hall
1605 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Education
PhD Columbia (2000)
MPhil Columbia (1996)
MA Columbia (1994)
Biography

My area of specialization is in the language, literature, and cultural history of Japan prior to contact with the West with related interests in gender, poetics, ritual practices, comparative historiography, and myth.  At the University of Virginia I have regularly teach courses such as JPTR 3010 (Survey of Japanese Literature), JAPN 4710 (Introduction to Literary Japanese), EAST 1010 (East Asian Canons and Cultures), as well as seminars on more specialized topics such as Japanese myth, the Tale of Genji, and Japanese court women's literature.  My first book The Pursuit of Harmony: Poetry and Power in Early Heian Japan explored the links between classical Japanese court poetry and the ritual enactment of authority by powerful members of the Heian court. Since then I have written a translation of Japan's earliest surviving narrative, the Kojiki, and co-edited a volume on cultural exchanges across Eurasia in the middle ages. My current book project is an in-depth study of Tosa nikki, Japan's earliest surviving vernacular diary. 

JPTR 3010: Survey of Traditional Japanese Literature
Credits: 3
This course provides an introduction to Japanese literature from earliest times through to the nineteenth century. We will read selections from representative texts and genres, including myth, poetry, prose fiction, memoir literature, drama, and works of criticism. No knowledge of Japanese culture or language is required.
JPTR 3100: Myths and Legends of Japan
Credits: 3
A seminar exploring Japan's earliest myths describing the origins of its islands, their gods, and rulers through close readings in English of eighth-century chronicles and poems. Fulfills the Non-Western and Second Writing requirements.
JPTR 3210: The Tale of Genji
Credits: 3
A seminar devoted to an in-depth examination in English translation of Japan's most renowned work of literature, often called the world's first novel. Satisfies the Non-Western and Second Writing requirements.
JPTR 3290: Feminine Fictions in Japanese Court Literature
Credits: 3
This seminar will take up the world's earliest instance of literature written extensively by, for, and about women, including such famous works as the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon and Sarashina Diary, among others. The focus will be on reading gender as a fictional enactment of desire and identity that is performed through acts of writing and reading. No prior knowledge of Japanese language or literature is required.
JPTR 3400: Tales of the Samurai
Credits: 3
A seminar focusing on influential medieval and early-modern narratives such as the Tale of Heike in which the notion of the samurai first developed. No prerequisites. Satisfies the non-Western and Second-Writing requirements.
JAPN 4710: Introduction to Literary Japanese (Bungo)
Credits: 3
An introduction to the Japanese language as it was written from earliest times up until the mid-twentieth century. In addition to familiarizing students with grammatical fundamentals of literary Japanese and their differences from the modern language, the course will introduce students to representative writing styles from a wide variety of genres and historical periods. Prerequisite: JAPN 3010 or equivalent background.
JPTR 4991: Japanese Capstone
Credits: 1
Restricted to Japanese majors, this course is designed as a capstone seminar that will require a class presentation and an extended final paper that demonstrate the significant knowledge of Japanese language.
EAST 4991: East Asian Studies Capstone
Credits: 1
Capstone course required for all East Asian Studies majors in their final year. Pre-Requisites: Restricted to Fourth Year, Fifth Year East Asian Studies majors
EAST 4998: Distinguished Majors Senior Thesis I
Credits: 3
The first part of a two-semester sequence of tutorial work for students completing a Senior Thesis as part of the Distinguished Majors Program in East Asian Studies or East Asian Languages and Literatures. Prerequisites: Student must be enrolled in the Distinguished Majors Program in East Asian Studies and have already completed EAST 4998.
EAST 4999: Distinguished Majors Senior Thesis
Credits: 3
The second part of a two-semester sequence of tutorial work for students completing a Senior Thesis as part of the Distinguished Majors Program in East Asian Studies or East Asian Languages and Literatures. Prerequisites: Student must be enrolled in the Distinguished Majors Program in East Asian Studies and have already completed EAST 4998. Prerequisite: Instructor Permission
JPTR 5010: Survey of Traditional Japanese Literature
Credits: 3
This course provides an introduction to Japanese literature from earliest times through to the nineteenth century. We will read selections from representative texts and genres, including myth, poetry, prose fiction, memoir literature, drama, and works of criticism. No knowledge of Japanese culture or language is required.
JPTR 5100: Myths and Legends of Japan
Credits: 3
A seminar exploring Japan's earliest myths describing the origins of its islands, their gods, and rulers through close readings in English of eighth-century chronicles and poems.
JPTR 5210: The Tale of Genji
Credits: 3
This course is devoted to an in-depth examination of Japan's most renowned work of literature and the world's first novel. Topics covered will include: material culture (architecture, clothing, gardens); political and social history; gender and class; marriage customs; poetry and poetics; the arts (music, perfume, painting, etc.); and religious beliefs (in particular spirit possession) among others.
JPTR 5290: Feminine Fictions in Japanese Court Literature
Credits: 3
This seminar will take up the world's earliest instance of literature written extensively by, for, and about women, including such famous works as the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon and Sarashina Diary, among others. The focus will be on reading gender as a fictional enactment of desire and identity that is performed through acts of writing and reading. No prior knowledge of Japanese language or literature is required.
JPTR 5400: Tales of the Samurai
Credits: 3
A seminar focusing on influential medieval and early-modern narratives such as the Tale of Heike in which the notion of the samurai first developed. No prerequisites. Satisfies the non-Western and Second-Writing requirements.