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The history wars between Japan and China over Japan's war time roles periodically cause diplomatic fall outs between these two countries. Within the borders of Indonesia and Cambodia memories of violence are equally contested. Drawing on theoretical reflections on history and memory, on memory and identity politics, memory and the body, memory and gender students in this subject will learn to critically analyse memories or representations of violence in a range of Asian contexts. We will also engage with and reflect on a variety of media of memory such as narratives or testimony, museums, monuments, commemorative ceremonies, Internet sites, art and photographs. We will also reflect on the ethics and problems associated with researching and writing about memories and violence and related issues of truth and justice. The subject will include a number of case studies such as Japanese historical revisionism, the related memory wars in China over Japanese representations of the Nanjing Massacre and in Korea over the so called 'Comfort Women'. Further case studies might include memories of decolonisation wars, commemoration of the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, representations of the 1965 anti-communist killings in Indonesia, representations of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, representations of the the Cultural Revolution in China and representations of the Vietnam War in Vietnam.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who complete this subject should:
- acquire knowledge of the history of violence in the Asian region;
- understand the various mediums of memory; and
- understand the impact of traumatic pasts on contemporary Asian societies and of the politics of memory in this region.
Last updated: 3 November 2022