Workshop: "Rethinking the Aerial Destruction of Cities in East Asia, 1932-45"

Event date: 
March 6, 2020 - 1:30pm to March 7, 2020 - 5:00pm
Co-Sponsored by: 
PIIRS and the East Asian Studies Program
Audience: 
Public

Workshop:"Rethinking the Aerial Destruction of Cities in East Asia, 1932-45"

A Conference organized by Professor Sheldon Garon, Princeton University


Friday, March 6, 2020 | 1:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 7 | 9:15 a.m. - 5:20 p.m.


This international workshop brainstorms about the recent wave of scholarship on the bombing wars experienced in Japan and China from 1932 to 1945.  Joining the several East Asia specialists will be two scholars, Paul Saint-Amour and Dietmar Süss, whose books on bombing in Europe have inspired many of the participants.  The workshop seeks to foster interdisciplinary approaches, bringing together scholars of urban geography, environmental history, architecture and urban planning, art history, comparative literature, military history, and transnational and comparative history.  We also aim to integrate the Japanese and Chinese stories into a more global history of World War II than is currently available in the generally Eurocentric accounts.  The Japanese and Chinese were both takers and makers of emerging global ideas and practices about attacking and defending cities.

List of Participants (in order of presentation):

  • Paul Saint-Amour (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Gennifer Weisenfeld (Duke University)
  • Aaron William Moore (University of Edinburgh)
  • Sheldon Garon (Princeton University)
  • Trevor Albertson (Lassen Community College)
  • Nicholas Risteen (Princeton University)
  • Katja Schmidtpott (Ruhr-University Bochum)
  • Cary Karacas (College of Staten Island, CUNY)
  • David Fedman (University of California, Irvine)
  • John B. Thompson (Columbia University)
  • Rotem Kowner (University of Haifa)

Workshop Schedule

Friday, March 6, 2020

1:30 p.m. | Introduction

  • Sheldon Garon (Princeton University)

1:45 - 3:30 p.m. | Session 1

  • Chair: Rotem Kowner (University of Haifa)
  • Paul Saint-Amour (University of Pennsylvania) | “Bukimi before Bukimi no Tani: On the Bombing Uncanny”
  • Gennifer Weisenfeld (Duke University) | “Gas Mask Parade”

3:30 p.m. | Break

3:45 - 5:30 p.m. | Session 2

  • Chair: Sheldon Garon (Princeton University)
  • DJohn B. Thompson (Columbia University) | “The Air Raid Shelter in Chongqing, 1938-1941”
  • Aaron William Moore (University of Edinburgh) | “Bombing the City: Civilian Accounts of the Air War in Britain and Japan, 1939-1945”

Saturday, March 7

9:15 - 11 a.m. | Session 3

  • Chair: David Fedman (University of California, Irvine)
  • Sheldon Garon (Princeton University) | “On the Transnational Destruction of Cities: What Japan and the U.S. Learned from the Bombing of Britain and Germany”
  • Trevor Albertson (Lassen Community College) | “Arson: Curtis LeMay and the Great Burning of Japan”

11:15 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Session 4

  • Chair: Cary Karacas (College of Staten Island, CUNY)
  • Nicholas Risteen (Princeton University) | “Playing with Fire: Experiments in Architecture and Destruction”
  • Katja Schmidtpott (Ruhr-University Bochum) | “German Concepts of Civil Defense in Japanese Wartime Urban Planning”

1 - 2 p.m. | Lunch

2 - 3:45 p.m. | Session 5

  • Chair: Gennifer Weisenfeld (Duke University)
  • Cary Karacas (College of Staten Island, CUNY) | “Anticipating the Air War: Cartoons, Drawings, and the Tensions of Japanese Air Defense”
  • David Fedman (University of California, Irvine) | “History from the Ashes: Memorializing the Air Raid Experience in Postwar Japan”

3:45 - 4 p.m. | Break

4 - 4:30 p.m.  |  Wrap-up Session

  • Chair: Rotem Kowner (University of Haifa)

4:30 p.m. | Workshop Concludes

Contact: 
Sheldon Garon
Field: 
Area of Interest: 
Political History
War & Society
Region: 
Asia
Period: 
20th Century