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2016 International Conference Call for Papers

admin │ 2018-09-02



War, Violence, and Memory: Remembrance, Representation, and Commemoration of Crimes against Humanity in Asia 


In Asian history, war has been responsible for countless deaths and multiple forms of traumatic violence. During the Second World War, for example, millions of lives were lost; and people from many different Asian countries, including China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan, were subject to imprisonment, forced labor, torture, bodily experimentation, and sexual slavery. Similar atrocities occurred during the Korean War and the Vietnam War.


Although from one perspective, they might seem part of a now receding history, the reminders of these traumatic events regularly resurface across the spectrum of public discourses, particularly in the fields of politics and culture. Over the past decades, Japan has issued several statements of apology to certain Asian countries, including both China and Korea, for its past war crimes. However, these apologies have been criticized by many victims and commentators as somewhat perfunctory and insincere. In 2005, anti-Japanese demonstrations erupted across most of East Asia, ignited in part by the perceived “distortions of history” contained in a Japanese history textbook. In 2012, there were also anti-Japanese protests in China, touched off by an escalation of tensions surrounding the disputed Diaoyu Islands. And only last year, in the wake of Japan’s landmark agreement with South Korea to settle the abiding issue of “comfort women”, further diplomatic tensions arose concerning the removal of the “comfort girl” statue—installed by a civic group in front of the Japanese Embassy, Seoul, in 2011—and the release of Sprits’ Homecoming (2016)a controversial crowd-funded film based on the testimonies of Korean comfort women.


In the light of these ongoing debates, this conference aims to examine the relationship between war, politics, and culture in the Asian context. Some of the questions that the conference might seek to address include: How do we represent the complex issues of violence, suffering and warfare in the Asian region? How should we commemorate the victims of occupation and war? What is the role of culture and politics in shaping collective memory? What part can the engaged intellectual play in bridging the sometimes large divide between the contending parties? What is the role of partisanship and advocacy in public displays and memorials? What is the role of the engaged intellectual in the writing of history, politics and culture?


We invite proposals for 20-minute spoken presentations to our annual Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context Conference, which will be held this year on Jeju Island from 21-22 October 2016. Full-length versions of these presented papers will subsequently be considered for inclusion in the spring 2017 issue of our journal Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context.


While the conference will be most immediately relevant to scholars working in the fields of literature and cultural studies, we also seek submissions that explore the issue from other perspectives, including politics, history, and communication studies. Sessions that span interdisciplinary boundaries and demarcated theoretical perspectives are also welcome.

Subjects addressed may include, but are not limited to:

- The history of war and physical/mental violence

- Literary or cultural representations of war victims or of the perpetrators of violence

- The aftermath and impacts of wartime violence

- Post-war diplomatic issues concerning international reconciliation and compensation

- War and violence in popular culture and entertainment (films, video games etc.)

- Modern cyber warfare and threats of violence

- Terrorism and violence


Conference Dates: 21- 22 Oct., 2016

Conference Venue: Jeju Island, South Korea

Abstract Submission Deadline: May. 31, 2016; full paper: Sep. 30, 2016 

Contact Person: Situations Conference Organizing Team

E-Mail: bk21eng-intl@yonsei.ac.kr


Each presenter will offer a 20-minute talk presenting a significant piece of unpublished work (or work-in-progress) and will also be invited to participate in the ensuing discussions. Travel expenses subsidy may be available for those whose papers are accepted. Also check out our journal website: http://situations.yonsei.ac.kr

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