T325 History and Memory of Modern China and Japan(online class)

Diana Lin/ Summer I 2011

Office: 206A Hawthorn Hall
(O)980 6981
Email: dchenlin@iun.edu
Website: www.iun.edu/~hisdcl

Office hours: TR 9:30-11:30am or by appointment through Summer I

Purpose of Course

This course surveys the history and memory revolving around the war between China and Japan (1937-45), which was part of the Pacific phase of World War II. At the center of an ongoing controversy was a massacre which took place in Nanjing, China, early in the war that left anywhere between 20 ,000 to 300,000 people dead, depending on the source of information. By focusing on how the Sino-Japanese War, and especially the Nanjing (Nanking) Massacre has been remembered in both China and Japan, this course explores the relationship between memory, politics, culture, and society in the formation of historicy and memory in modern China and Japan.


The following book is a required reading available from the campus Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Li, Feifei. Nanking 1937. M.E.Sharpe, 2002.

Wakabayashi, Bob. The Nanking Atrocity 1937-38. Berghahn Books, 2007.

Required readings also include online readings, including articles from JSTOR which you can access with your IU NW email account on campus or at home.

Course Requirements

II. Two take-home papers, each 8-10 pages, typed, double spaced. The papers need citations.

You will use the built-in paper topics in the syllabus, under the schedule for the 4th week, and at the end of the syllabus respectively. You are required to use both in-class readings and one or two outside sources for your papers. The papers are to be submitted via Oncourse Assignments. The due dates are as indicated on the syllabus.

III Campus visits: each student is expected to make two campus visits: one earlier in the semester, and one by the 6th week. I will answer any questions you have for the online class during the visits. These campus visits count in your final grade. If you cannot make them for one reason or another, you need to make an arrangement with the instructor to replace them with two phone calls.

All homework and correspondence with the instructor are to be conducted via Oncourse. However, if you have questions about Oncourse, you can email me at my regular email address at dchenlin@iun.edu until the problems are resolved. Correspondence through Oncourse guarantees your homework will be securely transmitted and preserved. Consequently, I expect you to check your Oncourse email also for any course announcements and correspondence from me and possibly other classmates.

Method of grading: all grades are assigned in percentages, which will be tabulated at the end of the semester and converted to letter grades. The averages of your take-home papers and of your weekly writing assignments will be taken to represent the grades for your take-home paper and weekly writing assignment. The conversion is as follows: 93-100: A; 90-93: A-; 85-89.9: B+; 80-84.9: B; 75-79.9: B-; 70-74.9: C+; 65-69.9: C; 60-64.9: C-; 55-59.9: D+; 50-54.9: D; 45-49.9: D-; 44 and below: F.

Grade distribution is as follows:

Forum Homework: 35 per cent
Two campus visits: 5 per cent
Take-home papers: 30 per cent each

Useful links:

A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilizations
People`s Daily.
yahoo`s China site
Asia Through the Lens: Photography of China and Japan, 1870-19
Website with Chinese maps: http://www.chinapage.org/map/map.html
(Columbia University) Asia for Educators
Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies
MIT Visualizing Cultures
Japan Focus

Online texts: Modern Chinese history; Modern Japan
Ancient Japan
Feudal Japan
Tokugawa Japan
19th Century Japanese Modernization
East Asia

Youtube viewing:
Short documentary on Nanking Massacre
Youtube page containing links to a recent Chinese documentary Nanking Nanking(multiple parts)

Class schedule

Week 1 (May 16-22): Memories of War

1. Introduction: The study of history and memory. Pierra Nora: Between Memory and History (under Oncourse Resources).

China and Japan in the twentieth century. Notes .

Forum question 1 (associated with Reading 1): Do you think the recent surge of interest in history themed movies and genealogies in the U.S. has anything to do with a new quest for memory? does Nora's ideas of memory help to explain this phenomenon?

2. Read online text of Modern Chinese history; Modern Japan

3. The Sino-Japanese War and the Nanking Massacre: History and Memory. Li, chaps.1, 3. Notes.

Forum question 2 (associated with readings 2 & 3): Explain what factors influenced the Chinese and Japanese memories of the Nanking massacre and why. 

Week 2. (May 23-29) Memories of War: China and Japan, on the Nanking (Nanjing) Massacre

1.Contrasting Chinese and Japanese views of the massacre.  Li, chaps.4 & 5. Notes

Forum question 3 (associated with week 2 reading 1): What factors influenced the Chinese memories of the Nanjing Massacre?

2. Japanese memory of the massacre.  Li, chaps. 6 & 7. Notes.

Forum question 4 (associated with week 2 reading 2): Explain the Japanese side of the argument about the Nanjing Massacre from the perspective on the politics of history.

 Week 3 (May 30-June 5)

1. Another look at the numbers: Wakabayashi, chaps.3, 4, 5.

Forum question 5 (associated with week 3 reading 1): How do these analyses support or refute the arguments in Li, chaps6 & 7?

Memory and the politics of interpretation

2. Japanese memory of the "Hundred Man Massacre" in the Battle of Nanjing (Nanking). Wakabayashi, chap.6. Notes.

Forum question 6 (associated with week 3 reading 2): Comment on Wakabayashi's argument that the 100 man killing contest was fabricated--what does it say about war and memory?

Week 4 (June 6-12) First take-home paper due on June 12 as Oncourse email attachment. Topic: Using in-class readings and an outside source, discuss how the Nanjing Massacre was interpreted by the Chinese and Japanese historians/critics and the possible causes for the differences. The paper needs to be 8-10 pages, double spaced, with citations, and a bibliography of the outside source.

1. Putting the battle of Nanjing in perspective: Japan. Wakabayashi, chap.2.

Forum question 7 (associated with week 4 reading 1): what interpretation/information that Fujiwara provides sheds new light on your understanding of the Nanjng massacre/atrocity?

The Politics of Interpretation

2. Comparing Japan and Germany. Online reading: Entangled Memories: Versions of the Past in Germany and Japan. (JSTOR access; reading also available under Oncourse Resources) Notes.

Forum question 8 : (associated with week 4 reading 2):Comment on Conrad's German-Japan comparison. Is it fair?

additional online reading: Review essay by Wakabayashi, "The Nanking Massacre, Now You See it....".

Week 5 (June 13-19)

1. Online reading: The Politics of History in Chinese-Japanese Relations (JSTOR access; reading also available under Oncourse Resources) Online reading notes.

 Forum question 9: (associated with week 5 reading 1): Apply some of Dirlik's arguments to interpret the earlier Chinese interpretations of the Nanjing massacre/atrocity.

Historical Memory

2. History and memory from a transnational perspective.  Li, chaps. 9 & 11. Notes

Forum question 10 (associated with week 5 reading 2): Assess Vera Schwarcz and Yang Daqing's comparative approach to historical memory.

Week 6 (June 20-26)

1.Another look at Chinese historical memory. Wakabayashi, chap.12.

Forum question 11: (associated with week 6 reading 1): Compare and Contrast Fogel's argument with Buruma, and Schwarcz.

2. Another look at memory, and Higashinakano. Wakabayashi, chap.14.

Forum question 12 (associated with week 6 reading 2):: Compare the Higashinakano depicted by Tokushi with the article by Higashinakano in Li, chap.7.

Week 7  (June 27-July 3)

Memory of Nanjing in Japan today. Wakabayashi, chap.16.

Forum question 13 (associated with week 7 reading): Based on Wakabayashi's discussion of the death toll in Nanjing (Wakabayashi, 367-84), where do you think he stands in the spectrum of historians, from left to right?

Second take-home paper is due by July 1. The paper should be 8-10 pages, typed, double-spaced, using both in class readings, especially readings from the 5th week on, and two outside sources (e.g. articles from JSTOR). Paper topic: based on our readings of Chinese and Japanese memories of World War II, discuss how the memories of the Nanjing Massacre have been influenced by the politics, culture, and history in China and Japan in the past century. Is it possible to reach a true understanding of the massacre/atrocity on both sides? why or why not?