Practicing History at the Time of Crisis in the Globalization Consensus (detailed info)

Practicing History at the Time of Crisis  in the Globalization Consensus

An international conference sponsored and organized by JSPS research project: Developing an International Research and Education Program on Asia-Pacific War History: Comparison and Synthesis


 4-5 March 2017


Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo
East Campus, Faculty Building 3 (on the 3rd floor)

Access to the university
Campus directory (please find the building No.39)

Conference Agenda

 In 2008, the political economist Dani Rodrik argued that the globalization consensus was dead after the great turmoil in international finance. Then we witnessed another predicament of the globalization consensus in 2016, the year of the Brexit referendum and Trump’s victory in the US presidential election. More political turbulence is expected in 2017. With this in mind, the third international conference organized by the JSPS joint research project “Developing an International Research and Education Program on Asia-Pacific War History: Comparison and Synthesis” will discuss the impact of the current crisis in the globalization consensus on the wider arena of practicing history, i.e., writing, teaching, and disseminating knowledge and perspectives about the modern and contemporary history of war and violence.


4 March 2017

Session 1 (13:30-17:30)

Writing Contemporary History of War at the Time of Crisis in the Globalization Consensus

Practicing history as a scholar, teacher, or any other professional involving the issues of memory, reconciliation and sharing understanding of the history of World Wars and the other events of massive violence that occurred during the 20th century requires us to consider whether we could share universal values (such as human rights) and a common understanding about the reception of the liberal international order led by the Western democracies since the end of World War II. The assumption of the goodness of liberal internationalism remained long unquestioned among most modern and contemporary historians. They, however, have faced more challenges and skepticism as the post-Cold War globalization, once seen as a promised land for liberal democracy, appears to be accompanied by the resurgence of populist nationalism in every corner of the globe. Recent worldwide political upheaval requires us to consider to what extent the ongoing crisis in the globalization consensus impacts on practitioners of history in writing, teaching, and disseminating knowledge and perspectives about modern and contemporary history of war and violence. As a flagship session of the whole conference, Session 1 will invite leading scholars of contemporary history of war as keynote speakers to discuss what challenges history-writing currently faces at the time of crisis in the globalization consensus.

Satoshi Nakano (Hitotsubashi University)

Ethan Mark (Leiden University), “Where is WWII?:  Narrating a Global Conflict Globally”

Yang Daqing (George Washington University), “Joint Historians’ Commissions and Negotiating “History beyond Borders””

Ricardo T. Jose (University of the Philippines Diliman), “Refighting the Battle of Bataan: Contesting Memories and Interpretations of the 1941-1942 Philippine Defense Campaign”

Sayuri Guthrie Shimizu (Rice University), “TBA”

Barak Kushner (Cambridge University)

5 March 2017

Session 2 (11:00-13:45)

Pedagogy of War History in Global Education

This session will discuss ways of teaching on “war and violence” to students from multinational backgrounds. As reflected in the recent initiative taken by MEXT, Japanese universities are facing a common challenge to “globalize” their education. However, the subject of war history often involves difficulties in teaching because of different historical views and conflicting interpretations: what should be taught from what kind of viewpoint. In this session, speakers invited from Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the U.S. will share their methods and/or practices about how to teach “war and violence” in multinational classrooms. Their talk will be followed by an open discussion where participants can share their teaching methods and practices.

Masaya Nemoto (Hitotsubashi University)

Anne Prescott (Five College Consortium), “American Teachers: Listening to and Learning from the Voices of The Other”

Keiki Kato (Hitotsubashi University), “How to Teach the Japanese Military ‘Comfort Women’ Issues at University”

Kazuharu Saito (Meiji University), “Japan/Korea and Japan/China Exchange Classes as Historical Dialogue”

Hiro Saito (Singapore Management University), “Social Science as a Reflexive Dialogue between Perpetrators and Victims”

Session 3 (15:00-17:30)

Globalization and Beyond: Exhibiting and Narrating War in the “Post-truth” Era

Are we facing another predicament? James Clifford criticized the concept of culture, because of its Eurocentrism, imperialistic structure, authoritative knowledge, and, most importantly, dominance of power to speak for others. Thirty years since then, museums and universities have worked on refurbishing their education with multiculturalism as one of the key ideas. Renewed exhibitions and curriculums have introduced diverse and multilateral points of view. On the subject of war, much advancement has been achieved in comparing and sharing understandings of history and in widening and deepening reconciliation. These are juxtaposed with the rise of globalization at the turn of the 21st century, despite its negative as well as positive impacts. Recently, however, there seems to be a turnabout in globalization. If local and populistic interests prevail over international and common values, what happens to universal ideals such as peace, human rights, and diversity? When the “globalization consensus” comes to an end and the discussion becomes more complex with often unreliable sources, how can a museum explain and teach about war in a “post-truth” era?

Considering these contexts, this panel invites curators, educators, and scholars and aims at two goals. (1) To review what globalization has brought about in exhibitions related to war. Topics might include: neoliberal politics, economic reform, consequent diminution of the public sector, shrinking budgets, financial pressure, widening gaps between big capital and local struggles, and more. (2) To share and develop ideas on how the museum can respond to the changing tide. While the politics of the museum have been problematic after Clifford, they seem to be more inclined to self-restraint and alert to political intervention. If peace becomes a sensitive issue, can the museum find a way to escape mock-neutralism? By introducing the practices and knowledge of each museum, this session will pursue the roles of the museum as a channel of public education and seek the possibilities of bridging war, history, and society.

Yuki Maruyama (Hitotsubashi University)

Junko Kanekiyo (Kyoto Museum for World Peace), “Intersections of Multiple Perspectives on War”

Karl Ian Chen Chua (Ateneo de Manila University), “Forgetting through Remembering: World War II Memorials and Tourism”

Ma Xiaohua (Osaka Kyoiku University), “Exhibiting World War II in China and Japan: War Memory, Nation Building, and Conflicts in East Asia”

Closing Discussion (17:05-17:30)

exhibited throughout the conference


Daisuke Tsuchiya & Hiroshima Visual Ethnography Project

Replica Symphony “Hiroshima Peace Memorial on August 6” (2015)


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