"In this world, there are things you can do alone, and things you can do with somebody else. It's important you combine the two in just the right amount."
Haruki Murakami wrote these words in After Dark, and they stand true when it comes to reading and studying Murakami. You can read him "alone," but he ought to be studied with "somebody else."
Without a learning community, I fear the significance of Murakami's work is lost on many readers. I yearned for this kind of community and mentorship when I began reading him over a decade ago.
Each course in this course series is designed for individuals who consider themselves Murakami enthusiasts and want to dig deeper into the theories and philosophies influencing his mind-bending stories.
As a result of taking these courses, you will begin to recognize the many theoretical interpretations his novels lend themselves to. You will become better readers with each new chapter, adding to your already vast array of knowledge and expertise. You will connect and grow with curious, engaged, and enthusiastic minds.
The Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series is ideal for the life-long learner wanting to continue to challenge oneself or the college or graduate student looking to specialize in Haruki Murakami and literary theory.
There are twelve total courses planned for the Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series, all of which are included in the course series. Additionally, if there are any other courses developed on the works of Murakami, Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series participants will be automatically enrolled in them. The course series includes access to the Murakami Reading Group, so even between course offerings, our Reading Beyond Murakami community reads one story or 50 pages a week of a novel and participates in written and video discussions.
Each course is a product of hundreds of hours of research and includes different combinations of the following elements:
Jessica S. Manuel earned her B.A. in English with an emphasis in Critical Theory and a minor in Theological Studies from The Master's University. She went on to earn her M.A. in English (Literature) from San Francisco State University where she studied 19th-20th Century Literatures with a special studies emphasis in Critical Theory. After examining the intersections of psychoanalysis and contemporary literature, she wrote her thesis on Haruki Murakami's use of the unconscious in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
After finishing her degree, she continued her education at University of California, San Diego where she studied and earned certificates in teaching adult learners, literature, and online teaching and learning. She offers online adult literature courses for life-long learners through Book Oblivion Academy and also teaches writing and literature courses at the college level.
These adult literature courses are designed for the literary enthusiasts who miss the classroom so much it hurts. Most participants are working professionals who want to learn from the convenience of their own homes, offices, or on their commutes. Some participants have read all of Murakami's works while others crack open their first Murakami novel with us.
We have students enroll from all over the world, including Australia, Spain, Romania, Hong Kong, Canada, India, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and all over the United States. The community aspect of this course is a precious gift. Participants leave every course with a firm grasp of each philosophical concept's imprint on the literary field while also considering some of the more unique narrative devices that Murakami employs in his work.
"I've recently joined and love the RBM course; Jessica S. Manuel is a fine instructor and the course materials are sophisticated and insightful. Highly recommended."
- Jeffrey Rogg, Prosecuting Attorney, Michigan, United States
“The Reading Beyond Murakami course series continues to be wildly rewarding for me as it has reignited and transformed my passion for literature, theory, and philosophy as well as it has helped to make me a lifelong learner! These courses are designed for students of any age and are flexible for everyone. Even if you have read Murakami a hundred times or have never heard of him, I, and the community, welcome you to take the plunge and take hold of your own education!”
- Noah Blacker, English Major, Ohio State University, Ohio, United States
"I'm so excited to be doing this course. I feel like I've found my tribe and I'm so glad I opted for the 'lifer' membership. Writing that brings a smile to my face as it has a fatalistic 'end of the world' Murakami-esk ring to it - lifer. Isn't that great? Murakami's novels are strangely like that. Once you've read one or two you are kind of hooked - F O R L I F E."
- Andrea Day, Artist, Perth, Australia
"I am really enjoying reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland and am enjoying being part of an interactive community that will help deepen my understanding of the novel and its influences and references."
- Karen Rodrigue, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Texas, United States