Spring 2008

The History and Memory of the Asia-Pacific War

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-62  |  History, as HIST-90


Trent E. Maxey (Section 01)


(AS) (Also Asian 62.) The varied names given to the fifteen years of war conducted by Japan-the Pacific War, the Great East Asian War, the Fifteen-Year War, World War II, and the Asian-Pacific War-suggest a number of conflicting perspectives arise from that war. How has the experience of a fifteen-year war during the 1930s and 1940s shaped memory and history in Japan, East Asia, and the United States? This seminar begins with this broad question and pursues related questions: How are the memory and history of war intertwined in both national and international politics? What forms of memory have been included and excluded from dominant historical narratives and commemorative devices? How does critical historiography intersect with the politics and passions of memory? We will use oral histories, primary documents, film, and scholarship to guide our thoughts and discussions. We will begin with a history of Japan's Fifteen-Year War and move on to prominent debates concerning the history and memory of that war. A reading response journal, short response papers, and a research paper will be required. Students will also serve as discussion initiators. One class meeting per week. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Second semester. Professor Maxey.