Fall 2020

The History and Memory of the Asia-Pacific War

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-477  |  History, as HIST-477

Formerly listed as: ASLC-62  |  HIST-90

Moodle site: Course


Trent E. Maxey (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 477 [AS/TE/TS] and ASLC 477) The fifteen years of war conducted by Japan—variously referred to as the Pacific War, the Great East Asian War, the Fifteen-year War, World War II, and the Asian-Pacific War—continue to shape the politics and diplomacy of Asia. This seminar examines how the experience of war during the 1930s and 40s are captured in the memory and history of Japan, East Asia, and the United States. The principal questions guiding our discussions will be: What is the relationship between history and memory in our media-saturated world? How are the memory and history of war intertwined in both national and international politics?  What forms of memory have been included and excluded from dominant historical narratives and commemorative devices? What role can the academic discipline of history play in these controversies? The goal of the seminar will be to immerse ourselves in a critical conversation and to produce self-directed research projects.

 This is a research seminar that will combine historiographic readings and discussions with assignments designed to help you define and execute your own research project. That project will culminate in a seminar paper that will satisfy the History major requirement. The course will be offered in-person on campus and online for those who are studying remotely. We will identify and work with digital archives online to deal with the limited access to physical archives on and off campus. 

Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Maxey.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to HIST/ASLC majors.


Attention to Research, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2020