Drawing Boundaries: How National History-writing in China, Japan, and Korea Influences Contemporary Interstate Relations


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  • Speaker: Evelyn S. Rawski
  • Host Department: Confucius Institute
  • Date: 09/20/2013
  • Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM

  • Location: Pendleton Room, Michigan Union

  • Description:

    A Confucius Institute Lecture

    U-M students, faculty, and community are welcome to attend. Inquiries for more information should be directed to the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan.

    China’s relations with the two Koreas and Japan are roiled by conflicting claims on disputed islands and territories and angry exchanges over contradictory national histories. Today’s quarrels are the legacy of national histories developed during the process of nation-building in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Public outbursts during the 2004 quarrel between the two Koreas and China over “ownership” of Koguryo/Gaogouli and repeated Chinese and Korean attacks on Japanese history textbooks illustrate the nationalist heat that disputes can generate. Sparked by states’ pursuit of domestic agendas, these nationalist incidents often produce negative international repercussions. Recently East Asian historians have tried to reconcile such controversies through sustained dialogue and the production of collaborative histories. The talk will conclude with speculation on whether national narratives will give way in the future to a world or global history.

    This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Japanese Studies.