Thursday, November 16th : Jonathan Henshaw “Remembering and Forgetting: Commemorations of the Second World War in Nanjing”

Jonathan Henshaw

PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of British Columbia

“Remembering and Forgetting: Commemorations of the Second World War in Nanjing”

Thursday, November 16th 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Kyle Pan, University of Chicago History Department

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Jonathan Henshaw [University of British Columbia] as he presents his work-in-progress, titled “Remembering and Forgetting: Commemorations of the Second World War in Nanjing.” Mr. Henshaw provides the following abstract:

The manipulation of wartime commemoration in China by the CCP exists as a commonplace in English-language scholarship. Under the People’s Republic, the retreat of Maoism, contact with Taiwan and renewed (anti-Japanese) nationalism have indeed provided context for recent manipulation of wartime commemorations, but such accounts cut short much of the history of wartime commemoration in China by beginning only in the 1980s. Nanjing, as a former capital, has a large collection of monuments and relics that suggest a longer, more complex narrative. This paper marks an intervention in the literature by extending the history of Chinese wartime commemoration back to 1938, while the war still raged, and by setting the received national narrative of the war against the local record contained in commemorative sites in Nanjing and local accounts of the war. In doing so, it opens a productive space for considering the dynamic between local and national narratives, and also points to how efforts to commemorate the war have evolved in step with developments in China’s international relations. As Gail Hershatter has suggested of the practice of “speaking bitterness,” the post-war national narrative of resistance has China functioned more as a matrix that local or individual accounts must be recuperated within (or be forgotten), as opposed to an outright script. Drawing on newspaper reports, steles and Chinese secondary sources dealing with Nanjing, this paper traces the history of wartime commemoration to its earliest iteration in the wartime era, when collaborationist Nanjing politicians were faced with the task of mourning the dead in a city that was both under Japanese occupation, and still reeling from the 1937 Nanjing massacre. Following the war, Chiang Kai-shek’s victorious Nationalists returned to Nanjing and appropriated the site of a former Japanese Shinto shrine for use as a museum that advanced their own triumphalist narrative of resistance. The establishment of the PRC in 1949 greatly reduced such public commemorations, which fit uneasily within the reigning anti-imperialist framework, but did not entirely eliminate them. Instead, wartime commemoration was refashioned into the reigning paradigm of anti-imperialism. In 1960, when historians in Nanjing took up a formal research project on the Nanjing massacre, it was within this framework that they portrayed the war. Their work, published only in 1979, castigated Japanese brutality and Western complicity, but their anti-imperialist framework soon gave way to the more familiar rhetoric of Chinese victimhood that has taken hold in the post-Mao era. These successive revisions not only highlight the ways in which local experiences of the war have been re-worked within a national framework but also point to the malleable nature of a history that is often presented as above question in China.

Jonathan’s paper can be found in the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu or Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu

 

Thursday, November 2nd: Robert Burgos “Local Discourses of Identity and ‘Ruralness’ in the Yuri Region of Akita, Japan”

Robert Burgos

PhD Student, University of Chicago

“Local Discourses of Identity and ‘Ruralness’ in the Yuri Region of Akita, Japan”

Thursday, November 2nd, 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Dan Knorr, PhD Candidate, University of Chicago

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop as we welcome Robert Burgos, who will be presenting a work in progress titled “Local Discourses of Identity and ‘Ruralness’ in the Yuri Region of Akita, Japan.” This piece considers the development in the 1930s of a local historical discourse by amateur Yuri historians and its implications on the understanding of ‘rural’ community and identity formation in Japan through the 20th century.

Robert’s Paper can be found in the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu or Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu.

Thursday, October 19th : Kyle Gardner “Communication: Roads, Regulation and British Joint Commissioners”

Kyle Gardner

PhD Candidate, University of Chicago

“Communication: Roads, Regulation and British Joint Commissioners” Along the Hindustan-Tibet Road and Leh-Yarkand Treaty Road

Thursday, October 19th 3:00-5:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Usama Rafi, University of Chicago History Department

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop as we welcome our own Kyle Gardner, who will be presenting a draft chapter titled “Communication: Roads, Regulation and British Joint Commissioners” from his dissertation. This chapter explores the particular histories of the Hindustan-Tibet Road and Leh-Yarkand Treaty Road from the mid 19th century onward, considering their development as regulatory mechanisms of empire as well as their status as means of both conveyance and restriction along the frontier.

Kyle’s Paper can be found in the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu or Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu.

 

Thursday, April 20 **3-5 PM** : Alex Jania “A Blood Red Sun Rises”: Affective Nationalism in the 1923 Korean Panic and Massacre

Alex Jania

University of Chicago, History Department

“‘A Blood Red Sun Rises’: Affective Nationalism in the 1923 Korean Panic and Massacre”

Thursday, April 20th

**3-5 PM**

John Hope Franklin Room (SSR 224)

Discussants:

Gregory Valdespino, University of Chicago History Dept.

Please join us at a slightly earlier time as the East Asia: Transregional History Workshop welcomes our own Alex Jania, who will present his second-year seminar paper entitled “‘A Blood Red Sun Rises’: Affective Nationalism in the 1923 Korean Panic and Massacre.” This paper explores the affective nationalism of the Korean Panic and Massacre in order to understand the relationship between emotion, violent ethnic scapegoating, and the imagining of the nation. This study uses the recollections of children who lived through the disaster in Tokyo and Yokohama, in addition to a critical passage from the Tokyo novelist Ema Shū’s disaster memoir When the Sheep Rise in Anger to explore how latent Japanese prejudices against Koreans created an affective environment that led to massacre. Using these sources, the study explores the creation and circulation of hate, fear, insecurity in the Korean Panic and later, excitement, security, and ambiguity in the Korean Massacre. Ultimately, he argues that the desire for a feeling of security and its creation through violence was a powerful, but fraught, part of Japanese affective nationalism following the Great Kantō Earthquake.

Alex’s paper can be found in the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Jessa Dahl at jdahl@uchicago.edu or Erin Newton at emnewton@uchicago.edu.

Thursday, March 9 : Jessa Dahl

Please join us next week as the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop welcomes our own

 

Jessa Dahl

PhD Student, University of Chicago

“After Dejima: Nagasaki’s ‘Heroic Women’ and Networks of International Exchange, 1827-1899”

Thursday, March 9th

4:00PM – 6:00PM

John Hope Franklin Room (SSR 224)

 

Jessa will be presenting an early draft of her dissertation proposal, which centers on personal and professional networks managed by women in nineteenth century Nagasaki. Jessa describes her project as follows:

 

As a treaty port community, Nagasaki experienced the dynamism of Japan’s entry into the nineteenth century international system first hand. Unlike the other treaty ports, however, Nagasaki was built upon already extant personal and professional networks of intercultural exchange that were over two hundred years old. It was also the only treaty port in which a small cohort of women participated prominently the most vital networks of exchange including international trade, the exchange of ideas and technology, diplomacy and even prostitution. My research will show that these two developments are not coincidental. I will argue that Nagasaki’s history as an established site of international exchange provided a base for the subsequent dynamic transformation that allowed these women to capitalize on the opportunities that were afforded to them. By showing how these women and their networks adapted to and transformed under the new treaty port system, I hope to explore what conditions made their success possible and illustrate how kaikoku (lit. “opening of the country”) and Japan’s subsequent modernization transformed local sites of international exchange.

 

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

 

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Jessa Dahl at jdahl@uchicago.edu or Erin Newton at emnewton@uchicago.edu.