Description : Remembering Hiroshima, the city obliterated by the world's first nuclear attack, has been a complicated and intensely politicized process, as we learn from Lisa Yoneyama's sensitive investigation of the "dialectics of memory." She explores unconventional texts and dimensions of culture involved in constituting Hiroshima memories—including history textbook controversies, discourses on the city's tourism and urban renewal projects, campaigns to preserve atomic ruins, survivors' testimonial practices, ethnic Koreans' narratives on Japanese colonialism, and the feminized discourse on peace—in order to illuminate the politics of knowledge about the past and present. In the way battles over memories have been expressed as material struggles over the cityscape itself, we see that not all share the dominant remembering of Hiroshima's disaster, with its particular sense of pastness, nostalgia, and modernity. The politics of remembering, in Yoneyama's analysis, is constituted by multiple and contradictory senses of time, space, and positionality, elements that have been profoundly conditioned by late capitalism and intensifying awareness of post-Cold War and postcolonial realities. Hiroshima Traces, besides clarifying the discourse surrounding this unforgotten catastrophe, reflects on questions that accompany any attempts to recover marginalized or silenced experiences. At a time when historical memories around the globe appear simultaneously threatening and in danger of obliteration, Yoneyama asks how acts of remembrance can serve the cause of knowledge without being co-opted and deprived of their unsettling, self-critical qualities.
Description : Cities have always had a key role in warfare, as strategic centres which periodically suffered the horrors of siege and sack. With industrialisation, however, they were drawn ever closer to the front line and to direct and continuous experience of fighting and destruction. 'Cities into Battlefields: Metropolitan Scenarios, Experiences and Commemorations of Total War' explores the cultural imprint of military conflict on metropolises world wide in the era of the First and Second World Wars. It brings together cultural and urban historians and scholars of related disciplines including anthropology, education, and geography. The volume examines how the emergence of 'total' warfare blurred the boundaries between home and front and transformed cities into battlefields. The logic of total mobilisation turned the social and cultural fabric of urban life upside down. Arranged so as to bring out the evolution of experience over time, the essays explore Eastern and Central Europe, Britain and Western Europe, and Japan and address several key themes. The first strand - scenarios - explores the apocalyptic imagination of intellectuals and experts in peacetime. Artists and writers anticipating doom presented the coming upheaval as an urban event - a commonplace of late-Victorian and post-1918 pessimism. On a different plane, civil servants and engineers materialised visions of urban chaos and devised countermeasures in case of emergencies. Both groups helped to furnish a repertoire of cultural forms which channelled and encoded the actual experience of war. The second strand deals with metropolitan experiences, notably mobilisation, deprivation, and destruction in wartime. Ruins and the repercussions of war is the central theme of the third strand - commemorations - which investigates post-war efforts to remember and forget. The quest for meaningful forms of commemoration was hard enough after the First World War; the Second World War, which saw whole cities disappear in flames, raised the possibility that the limits of representation had been reached. The central contention of this volume - that total war in the twentieth century has a significant but often overlooked metropolitan dimension - is fully addressed, thereby filling a conspicuous gap in the currently available literature.
Description : Obsolescence is fundamental to the experience of modernity, not simply one dimension of an economic system. The contributors to this book investigate obsolescence as a historical phenomenon, an aesthetic practice, and an affective mode.
Description : Many on the left lament an apathy or amnesia toward recent acts of war. Particularly during the George W. Bush administration's invasion of Iraq, opposition to war seemed to lack the heat and potency of the 1960s and 1970s, giving the impression that passionate dissent was all but dead. Through an analysis of three politically engaged works of art, Rosalyn Deutsche argues against this melancholic attitude, confirming the power of contemporary art to criticize subjectivity as well as war. Deutsche selects three videos centered on the deployment of the atomic bomb: Krzysztof Wodiczko's Hiroshima Projection (1999), made after the first Gulf War; Silvia Kolbowski's After Hiroshima mon amour (2005-2008); and Leslie Thornton's Let Me Count the Ways (2004-2008), which followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Each of these works confronts the ethical task of addressing historical disaster, and each explores the intersection of past and present wars. These artworks profoundly contribute to the discourse of war resistance, illuminating the complex dynamics of viewing and interpretation. Deutsche employs feminist and psychoanalytic approaches in her study, questioning both the role of totalizing images in the production of warlike subjects and the fantasies that perpetuate, especially among the left, traditional notions of political dissent. She ultimately reveals the passive collusion between leftist critique and dominant discourse in which personal dimensions of war are denied.
Description : From the beginning of the American Occupation in 1945 to the post-bubble period of the early 1990s, popular music provided Japanese listeners with a much-needed release, channeling their desires, fears, and frustrations into a pleasurable and fluid art. Pop music allowed Japanese artists and audiences to assume various identities, reflecting the country's uncomfortable position under American hegemony and its uncertainty within ever-shifting geopolitical realities. In the first English-language study of this phenomenon, Michael K. Bourdaghs considers genres as diverse as boogie-woogie, rockabilly, enka, 1960s rock and roll, 1970s new music, folk, and techno-pop. Reading these forms and their cultural import through music, literary, and cultural theory, he introduces readers to the sensual moods and meanings of modern Japan. As he unpacks the complexities of popular music production and consumption, Bourdaghs interprets Japan as it worked through (or tried to forget) its imperial past. These efforts grew even murkier as Japanese pop migrated to the nation's former colonies. In postwar Japan, pop music both accelerated and protested the commodification of everyday life, challenged and reproduced gender hierarchies, and insisted on the uniqueness of a national culture, even as it participated in an increasingly integrated global marketplace. Each chapter in Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon examines a single genre through a particular theoretical lens: the relation of music to liberation; the influence of cultural mapping on musical appreciation; the role of translation in transmitting musical genres around the globe; the place of noise in music and its relation to historical change; the tenuous connection between ideologies of authenticity and imitation; the link between commercial success and artistic integrity; and the function of melodrama. Bourdaghs concludes with a look at recent Japanese pop music culture.
Description : East Asian cinema has become a worldwide phenonemon, and directors such as Park Chan-wook, Wong Kar Wai, and Takashi Miike have become household names. Dekalog 4: On East Asian Filmmakers solicits scholars from Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, North America, and the U.K. to offer unique readings of selected East Asian directors and their works. Directors examined include Zhang Yimou, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Rithy Panh, Kinji Fukasaku, and Jia Zhangke, and the volume includes one of the first surveys of Japanese and Chinese female filmmakers, providing singular insight into East Asian film and the filmmakers that have brought it global recognition.