Class Year

2018

Date

5-1-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Distinguished Thesis

Yes

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Asian Studies

First Advisor

Shiwei Chen

Second Advisor

Carla Arnell

Third Advisor

Ying Wu

Abstract

Historical narratives and memories are highly-politicized and evolve in response to geopolitical developments. The Nanking Atrocity exemplifies the mutability and exploitation of historical narratives and public memory. Although the Atrocity occurred in the early stages of WWII and was adjudicated immediately following the conclusion of the war, it was not until several decades later, in the 1980s, that geopolitical shifts made the event relevant both domestically and internationally. By examining the factors that have influenced these narratives, it is possible to better comprehend the developments that have produced the highly-contested, contemporary Nanking Atrocity memories. The current international disputes between China and Japan, with the U.S. as a self-elected mediator, signify the consequences of public memory exploitation. Therefore, it is crucial to examine the factors that lead a nation to adopt public memory and construct historical narratives in order to overcome future obstacles in scholarship and international diplomacy.

Language

English


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