Description de l'atelier / Panel description
Theodore Cook  1, 2@  , Haruko Taya Cook  3@  , Daniele Mazingarbe  4@  
1 : William Paterson University of New Jersey  (WPUNJ)  -  Website
Department of History, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ 07470 -  États-Unis
2 : William Paterson University  (WPUNJ)  -  Website
Department of History, 300 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ 07470 -  États-Unis
3 : William Paterson University  (WPUNJ)  -  Website
Department of Languages and Cultures, 300 Pompton Road Wayne, NJ 07470 -  États-Unis
4 : Independent Scholar
independent scholar
17 rue Ferdinand Duval. 75004 Paris -  France

Panel presentation :

When Svetlana Alexievich was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2015 "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time," oral history received recognition as the powerful literary creative form it can be. This panel embraces the thought that the multiverse of war experience and memory requires engagement with those sharing their stories far beyond archiving their words. To some in the field, this is apostasy, yet this panel explores how we may uncover and bring disparate voices together for readers of many cultures to understand Japan's last war. The Asia-Pacific War, spanning least 1931-1945, lies nearly three-quarters of century behind us. Much of what was captured live in making the 1991 first edition of Japan at War: An Oral History, the work of two members of this panel, can no longer be attested to by many of those speakers, yet their voices, uncovered via a then unparalleled quest across Japan and drawn out in hours of close contact, illuminate universal themes that beleaguer everyone engulfed by war and its aftermath, phenomena still not yet laid to rest in our world today.

Three scholars speak here: One, Japanese, specializing in war literature and language turned oral historian to provide readers of English insight into Japan's conflict not previously available. A second, from the U.S.A. studies Japan's military institutions and war's social and cultural dimensions as attested to by individuals. The third is from France, a journalist, magazine editor, and the author and translator of many works as diverse as North Vietnam's War, Rumania in 1940, and Japan's War. They come together to debate and share how they have grappled with turning individual memories into oral history accessible to the world, inviting discussion of how memories of human trauma may best be captured and rendered understandable.

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