Memories of WWII in the Pacific

This course examines the ways that memories of WWII in the Pacific have emerged and evolved over the course of the more than sixty years since the war’s end. While primarily focused on memories in the United States have occasion to consider memories in other societies affected by the war, particularly China, Korea, the Philippines and numerous Pacific Islands. Much of the material we will read presents memories of particular individuals, but an important goal of this class is to think about the formation and transformations of “collective memories.” In doing so we will pay close attention to the media—objects, institutions, photographs, moving pictures, art works, the written and spoken word and rituals—in which memories are enshrined and through which they are disseminated. What impact do different media have on the formation of collective memory? We will also be attentive to the kinds of evidence that are used to evoke the past and the ways that evidence and media connect to politics.

Reading List

Available at Literary Guillotine and on reserve at McHenry Library:

1) Emily S. Rosenberg, A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory (Duke University Press, 2003)

2) Alice Yang Murray (ed.), What Did the Internment of Japanese Americans Mean? (Bedford Books, 2000)

3) Katsuichi Honda, The Nanjing Massacre: A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan’s National Shame, Frank Gibney, ed., (M.E. Sharpe, 1999)

4) E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa (Oxford University Press, 1981)

5) C. Sarah Soh, The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2009)

6) Kenzaburô Oe ed., The Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath (Grove Press, 1985)

7) Hiroo Onoda, No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War (US Naval Institute Press, 1999)