2017: Historical Revisionism

Geschichte.  Beispiel "Trostfrauen"
Quelle:  The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 15 | Issue 24 | Number 4 | Dec 14, 2017
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus.

This is the first in what we hope will be an ongoing series devoted to teaching sensitive historical and contemporary issues in an era in which ‘trigger warnings’ and competing nationalisms shape educational experiences throughout the Asia-Pacific and the world. We invite contributions.

The Stakes of Historical Revisionism in Trump’s America:

Teaching about the Comfort Women Atrocity in the Japanese Empire
Miriam Kingsberg Kadia

The 2016 presidential campaign was hardly the starting point for surging neo-nationalism centered on a normative white male identity. Yet the election of Donald Trump reinforced certain links among racism, sexism, and neonationalism in the contemporary United States (and beyond). No less than the general public, universities across the nation have felt the impact of our forty-fifth president’s supremacist and exclusionary rhetoric. Many students, faculty, and staff reacted to last November’s results with shock and despair, while some felt acutely threatened by attacks on minorities, documented and undocumented immigrants, and other at-risk groups. In response, a number of universities have declared themselves “sanctuary campuses,” pledging to shield students and employees of uncertain immigration status. Many others, including the University of Colorado Boulder, where I teach, have issued statements of support for diversity and have mounted various formal and informal discussions of how to meaningfully support impacted members of the community.

Understandably, most administrative and faculty concern is focused on helping those whose vulnerability has increased in the current political climate. Meanwhile, relatively little thought is given to how we might reach and engage supporters of exclusionary and nationalist policies. Implicitly, many of us appear to hope that the much-vaunted “liberalizing effect” of higher education will transform students who hold such beliefs into more tolerant members of their communities. University policies such as consciously engineering diversity in dormitories, the promotion of study abroad, and “non-Western cultures” course requirements are intended to cultivate open-mindedness without burdening professors with sole responsibility for challenging student biases. Despite the benign objectives behind these measures, much recent social science scholarship suggests that exposure to diversity may actually contradict them by deepening certain forms of intolerance. In other words, greater intimacy does not always fulfill the liberal hope of furthering coexistence—quite the opposite in many cases. What can interested faculty do to encourage greater acceptance and inclusivity—or at least not further entrench chauvinism—on and beyond the university campus? ...

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