BLHV-200 War Memories, Justice and Reconciliation: The Case of China and Japan
Fall for 2008-2009
The Nanjing Atrocity like Dachau or the Bataan Death March has become emblematic of the central ethical question of the post-war era: how to account for and atone for large-scale acts of violence and inhumanity. In the case of Nanjing, symbol of Japanese military brutality during the war with China, differing memories, differing perceptions continue to be the source of bitter disputes between China and Japan, damaging a relationship which holds the key to Asia’s future. With Nanjing as the historical pivot point, this course provides an overview of issues and choices in Chinese-Japanese relations from the mid-19th century to the thirties, asking why the path to war was the alternative taken. Second, it examines what happened at Nanjing, how Nanjing has played out as a moral and political issue between China and Japan over the last seventy years, and what the prospects are at present of achieving a breakthrough in the long process of reconciliation.
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Fall '08: Harrell P (file download)
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