Special Topics: 
Hiroshima as a 
Site of Public History
HIST 5005

Summer Session 1
2005 Kyoto Study Tour Syllabus
May 10-26, 2005 
John A. Tucker, Ph.D.

 Brewster A-304
Work 328-1028/Home 756-4126

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Description: This course examines Hiroshima as a site of public history in both the United States and in Japan. Through a study of American attitudes toward Hiroshima, as well as Japanese reflections on the city and its history, the course seeks to better understand one of the most tragic and yet hopeful sites in twentieth century history. In addition to readings and lectures, students will visit the Hiroshima Peace Park for an indepth, first-hand study of the city as an active site of public history. Through readings in "Atomic-bomb literature" (genbaku bungaku), students will be able to explore Japanese cultural strategies for remembering (and arguably forgetting)  the past. The study of Hiroshima will be juxtaposed with that of Kyoto, a city spared the military wrath of the U.S. in WWII. In particular, the ways in which Kyoto as a historic city has been developed in terms of postwar public history will be compared and contrasted with Hiroshima with an eye toward similarities in the presentation of two historic places, one spared and the other destroyed in WWII. 

Students will receive three credit hours for this course, based on a scheduled 45 contact hours of  lectures, delivered before, during and after the study tour. 

Course Requirements & Grading: Students will also be expected to write a journal of their experiences in Japan, noting where they went, what they saw, and how it impressed them.  Reflections on travel experiences are one valuable way of taking the experience to a different, more meaningful level. Journals, submitted the last day of the semester, will count 30% of the final grade.

Students will be required to write a research paper on an assigned topic. The paper will count 40% of the final grade. The assigned topic for 2005 is "Kyoto and Hiroshima as Postwar Sites of Public History at the Sixtieth Year Anniversary of WWII."

Regular participation in the Kyoto Study Tour will also count 30% of the final grade.

Objectives: This  course seeks to provide for students an appreciation of the fundamentals shaping contemporary public history related to Hiroshima in the United States and Japan. Students who complete the course successfully should be able to more insightfully assimilate new information and studies related to Hiroshima as well as postwar Japanese cultural debates regarding their identity and role in international affairs. As is true with the study of any foreign culture, students should have realized significantly more about themselves and their "own" culture. Since most of the instruction will take place in Japan, lectures will be formulated in relation to historic and cultural sites visited. 

Required Readings: In order to relate contemporary news to Hiroshima/Kyoto, students will be given media handouts on a regular basis. In addition, the following are the texts required for the course. 

Haruko Cook and Theodore Cook. Japan at War: An Oral History. New York: New  Press, 1993.

Robert Jay Lifton. Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial.  Quill, 1996.

John Hersey. Hiroshima. Vintage Reprint, 1989.

Oe Kenzaburo. The Crazy Iris and and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath. Grove Press, 1985.

Oe Kenzaburo. Hiroshima Notes. Grove Press, 1996.

Masuji Ibuse. Black Rain. Kodansha, 1974.

Ronald Takaki. Hiroshima: Why American Dropped the Atomic Bomb. Back Bay Books, 1996.

Michael Harwit. An Exhibit Denied: Lobbying the History of Enola Gay. Copernicus Books, .

Michael Hogan. Hiroshima in History and Memory. Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Edward Linethal. History Wars: The Enola Gay and Other Battles for the American Past. Owl Books, 1996.

J. Samuel Walker. Prompt and Utter Destruction: President Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan.
           University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

Saburo Ienaga. The Pacific War, 1931-1945. Pantheon Books, 1979.
Students are encouraged to read extensively about East Asia, using the Joyner Library collection, interlibrary loan materials, postings on the internet, or their personal library. At the same time, the three texts assigned must be read carefully since they are the material on which students will be tested. Generally speaking, students will not be expected to "know" details which appear only in the readings assigned. However, any material that is mentioned in class and appears in the readings will be considered fair game for the quizzes and exams. 

Disability Statement: East Carolina University seeks to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students requesting accommodations based on a covered disability must go to the Department for Disability Support Services, located in Brewster A-117, to verify the disability before any accommodations can occur.  The telephone number is 252-328-6799.