Category Archives: Conferences

Propaganda and Journalism during/on the second Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945

Date: 20 March 2018

Over two days we heard presentations from scholars based in Japan, China and the UK and engaged in discussion in Chinese, Japanese, and English concerning propaganda and media issues in East Asia.

Workshop Summary


Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees from the Viewpoint of East Asia

Dates: 16-17 March 2018

On Friday evening, 16 March, the conference on Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees from the Viewpoint of East Asia opened with a keynote from Dr. Mahon Murphy. The opening lecture emphasized the necessity of looking at the non-European theaters of war to more fully grasp the impact of how prisoners and their treatment affected the world at large and the future of warfare.

The following day, 17 March, Japanese and European scholars exchanged ideas about their research concerning prisoners and civilians in captivity during the first half of the 20th Century. A full program and pictures from the conference are below.

This conference was co-sponsored by Dr. Barak Kushner’s ERC grant on The Dissolution of the Japanese Empire and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Postwar East Asia, and Dr. NARAOKA Sochi’s Spirits-funding from Kyoto University in Japan.

Conference Programme

Keynote Lecture Poster


Digital Media and Charting the Geography of Power in East Asia

Date: 28-30 June 2017

Location: Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge

This international conference was held at the Faculty of Classics, across the courtyard, because the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies is undergoing reconstruction. For several days invited guests, participants, and observers from Cambridge, the University of Heidelberg, the University of East Anglia, Lafayette College (USA), Keio University, Waseda University and Kyoto University (Japan) discussed their individual and group efforts at website creation, database management, and digital preservation. Over three days the group presented six individual talks on digital humanities projects at their various institutions, methodologies for linking international projects, as well as digital “best practices” and tools for upgrading interoperability and software development. In addition, Huw Jones and Hal Blackburn of the Cambridge University Library Digital Humanities Unit also delivered talks on the current state of the digital humanities field in general, concerns with how to maintain sites and construct budgets or proposals, and offered insight on the implementation of past and present projects at Cambridge. Over several working lunches and dinners the group continued to engage in conversation about how to link our sites and expand on exchanging further information and datasets to meet new short and long term goals.

Conference Programme and Participant List


Media and How it Shapes History: The Third International Conference

Date: 13-15 January 2017

Location: University of Cambridge, UK

The 3rd Conference “Media and How it Shapes History,” sponsored by the Toshiba International Foundation, took place at the University of Cambridge. Dr. Barak Kushner, the principal investigator of the ERC Project Dissolution of the Japanese Empire, and Professor Rana Mitter of the University of Oxford China Centre, welcomed the participants to Westminster College for a weekend of discussion and debate.

As in the first two conferences, the gathering brought together a diverse group of participants: historians, specialists in international relations, print and online journalists, and intellectuals. Addressing the big questions related to the role of media in East Asia, the attendees shared opinions and related professional experiences in stimulating discussions.

Specifically, this year’s conference differed from its two predecessors in that the organisers approached the role of the media holistically across the region. The overarching aim was to draw conclusions from three years of discussions and exchange across professional and national boundaries, and to discuss the ways in which these conclusions can be shared with the wider, global audiences. As a result of the conference, Dr. Kushner and Prof. Mitter will author an article that will summarise the work done at three gatherings and present the participants’ vision for the future of collaboration between media and academia.

Conference Schedule

Participant Biographies


The Reconstruction of East Asia, 1945-65

Date: 9-12 December 2016

Location: Cambridge University, UK

This international conference aimed to generate new dialogues on the history of the collapse of the Japanese empire. It did so by gathering in Cambridge a diverse group of scholars who work on a wide variety of historical and geographical perspectives, focusing on China, Japan, Korea (South and North), and Taiwan, and researching aspects of military demobilization, law and responsibility, the reorganization of authority and new political ideologies, transformations in postwar socieites, cultures, and many related topics.

The underlying theme of the discussions was the way in which the collapse of the Japanese empire affected the region, and how a host of different and often competing groups struggled to remap and revision East Asia in the aftermath of the end of empire.

Over three days, twenty-five scholars from Asia, Europe and North America divided into eight panels were joined by the Project team and Cambridge-based historians and graduate students to engage in fruitful discussions. These were alternated by informal conversations and exchanges aimed at fostering scholarly collaboration and networking. As a result of the conference, the best presentations will be selected for publication in two edited volumes, leading to valuable contributions to existing literature on the post-imperial reconstruction of East Asia.

Conference Agenda

Participant Biographies

Conference Materials (password protected)