We are delighted to announce that the following symposium will take place on Friday-Saturday, 29-30 January 2016, in cooperation with the Graduate School for East and South East European Studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.
In a seventy-year hindsight, August 1945 emerges as an epoch-making month and by far the most crucial turning point in the twentieth-century history of East Asia. But how exactly has Japan’s surrender affected the various processes that came to an end or began in that date? Is it possible to construct a meta-narrative of the various events and processes that occurred in 1945 and the subsequent decade? In this symposium we intend to examine these and other questions by offering a broad international perspective and relying on new materials and approaches. We are looking in particular for novel (and unconventional) perspectives representing either one or more of the powers involved (i.e., China, Japan, the two Koreas, Soviet Union/Russia, and the United States) but which transcend national historiographies. Thematically, we invite paper and panel proposals in the following domains:
- Causes for Japan’s Collapse and Its Ultimate Surrender (1945): The role of the Soviet invasion into Manchuria vis-à-vis the American use of the A-bombs in the Japanese surrender; The impact of the prospects for and actual Soviet entry into the war on the dropping of the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; The debate within Japanese decision makers over the preferable identity of occupying power; etc.
- The War and the Chinese Revolution (1945-49): The impact of the war on the outcome of the Chinese Revolution and (more specifically) the role of the Soviet takeover of Manchuria on the Communist struggle; etc.
- The Division of the Korean Peninsula (1945-50): The end of the war and the Korean division: debates, immediate outcomes, alternatives; the impact of the war and the Korean War; etc.
- The American Occupation of Japan (1945-52); The American plans and accomplishments during the Occupation Era; Soviet, Chinese and Korean perspectives on the American Occupation; etc.
- The New Order in Northeast Asia (1945-1955): The role of the war in forming new regional order; Was this order inevitable and were there some feasible alternatives? Japan’s surrender and the fall of colonialism in the region war; The demographic partition in the region; The repercussions of the cold war in Europe on the region; etc.
- Current Legacies of the War (2000-2015): The current Chinese-Korean-Japanese territorial conflict as an outcome of the war; The war and the unresolved Russo-Japanese territorial conflict; The war and the position of Taiwan in Northeast Asian affairs; The war and the present position of the United States in East Asia; etc.
The symposium will be held at the Graduate School for East and South East European Studies in Munich. Proposals for panels/papers, as well as further inquiries, should be sent by email to the conference secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org). Proposals should include the title of the panel or the individual paper, a short abstract (150-200 words) and a short bionote (about 100 words). The deadline for submitting proposals is 30 September 2015. Accepted proposals will be notified by 15 October 2015.
The symposium will be conducted in English. It is open to the public and participation is free of charge. Graduate students, side by side with seasoned scholars, are encouraged to apply. In special cases, the organizers will be able to offer limited financial support for the participants. We would be grateful if you could distribute this call for papers among your colleagues. Please save the dates!