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[I-House Lecture]
Victimhood Nationalism versus Mnemonic Solidarity:
History Reconciliation in East Asia


  • Lecturer: Lim Jie-Hyun (Professor, Sogang University)
  • Discussant: Torsten Weber (Senior Research Fellow, German Institute for Japanese Studies)
  • Moderator: Ashiwa Yoshiko (Professor, Hitotsubashi University)
  • Date: Tuesday, July 3, 2018, 7:00-8:30 pm (Doors open at 6:30 pm)
  • Venue: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
  • Language: English (without Japanese interpretation)
  • Admission: 1,000 yen (students: 500 yen, IHJ members: free)
  • Seating: 100 (reservations required)Icon: Registration
Germany’s Vergangenheitsbewältigung (“overcoming the past”) after World War II and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission after apartheid are some of the post-conflict reconciliation efforts we have witnessed in the modern era. What can East Asia learn from the successes and challenges of these efforts? Prof. Lim Jie-Hyun, a Korean expert on contemporary European history, will talk about history reconciliation and memory issues in East Asia, comparing the situation with European countries such as Germany and Poland.
Prof. Lim argues that today’s world often faces “victimhood nationalism,” which explains the competition of national memories over the historical position of victims. It can be an obstacle to reconciliation efforts, as well as a key to understanding the memory conflict in East Asia. This lecture will explore the possibilities of coexistence of, and dialogue among, competing memories and probe for the mnemonic solidarity to enable history reconciliation in East Asia.

Lim Jie-Hyun (Professor, Sogang University)
Lim Jie-HyunProfessor of transnational history and founding director of the Critical Global Studies Institute at Sogang University, Seoul. He has written broadly on nationalism and Marxism in comparison, Polish history, transnational history and global memory. He has held visiting appointments at various prestigious institutes including Warsaw University, Harvard-Yenching Institute, International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and Hitotsubashi University, and serves on the boards of the International Committee of Historical Sciences and the Network of Global and World History Organizations.

Torsten Weber (Senior Research Fellow, German Institute for Japanese Studies)
Torsten WeberHistorian of modern East Asia and a Senior Research Fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ Tokyo) where he is also Head of the Humanities Section. He holds an M.A. in Chinese Studies from the University of London and a Ph.D. in Japanese Studies from Heidelberg University. His research focuses on the history of Japanese-Chinese relations and interactions from the modern to the contemporary era, including the politics of history and memory. He has recently published Embracing ‘Asia’ in China and Japan: Asianism Discourse and the Contest for Hegemony, 1912-1933 (Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series, 2018) and has contributed an article on history controversies and war apologies to The Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History After 1945 (eds. B. Bevernage and N. Wouters, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
Ashiwa Yoshiko (Professor, Hitotsubashi University)
Ashiwa YoshikoProfessor of Anthropology and director of the Center for the Study of Peace and Reconciliation. She studies cultural values and systems in regard to issues of conflict, art, religion, memory, representation, modernity, globalization, and cultural policy, mainly in Sri Lanka, China, North America, and Japan. Her publications include Making Religion, Making the State (Stanford University Press, 2009, co-ed.) and Heiwa to wakai no shiso o tazunete [Ideas on Peace and Reconciliation] (Otsuki Shoten, 2010, co-ed.). She has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Columbia University, and other institutions overseas.