Category Archives: Conferences

Chinese Archives and Digital Website Production Conference

Dates: 1 – 4 May 2018

Over a week in May scholars and graduate students from China, Japan and the UK gathered at Cambridge University to share their most recent research on the history of war crimes trials and the postwar in East Asia. Topics covered the KMT war crimes trials, the CCP trials, the political ramifications of both sets of trials within Sino-Japanese relations, as well as the role of Taiwan, how postwar violence was resolved, and related subjects. The group planned in detail how to proceed with further archival gathering missions to sites in China, how to advance the war crimes website which continues to expand in production, and other related activities. Drs Chang and Kushner also proceeded in discussions concerning further applications to UK and Chinese funding agencies to support finalization of the website project and to consider the next step in research. Conference papers and discussions were mainly held in Chinese and Japanese.

Conference Agenda

The keynote presentation was given by Dr. Yan Hai-jian, an associate professor in the Department of History at Nanjing Normal University. His analysis focused on the Japanese war crimes trials held by the Nationalist government led by the Chinese Nationalist Party/Kuomintang (KMT) after the Sino-Japanese War ended in 1945. The presentation began with the origin of the principles of the Japanese war crimes trials, inherited from the St. James Declaration signed on 13 January 1942 in London concerning punishment of German war crimes responsible for criminal acts.

Keynote Poster

Dr. Yan also mentioned that the uniqueness of the prosecution in the Japanese war crimes in China which included subverting sovereignty, running casinos, selling opium, and indiscriminate bombing, etc. He further compared the Japanese war crimes trials in Asia and the German war crimes trials in Europe and argued that the former, though held in Asia, were still mainly led by the Western powers. Dr. Yan stressed the fact that the Nationalist government’s war crimes trial principles followed the revealed a ‘weak-nation mentality’, where the KMT believed itself unable to fully manifest a proper outcome due to a variety of factors.

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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