Conflict, Violence and Memory TFDC 2.14
Jul 07, 2023 09:00 - 10:30(Europe/London)
20230707T0900 20230707T1030 Europe/London 8.16. Building Narratives and Deconstructing Hegemony in Northeast Asian Memorymaking

S. Louisa Wei (Associate Professor, City University of Hong Kong; smlouisa@cityu.edu.hk)

Incriminated Writers and Their Wives: Gendered Memory and Oral History of Mao's Campaign Years 

The primary source of this study is 110 interviews concerning two interrelated political campaigns operated by the Chinese Communist Party: the Yan'an Rectification Movement (1942-1944) and the Anti-Hu Feng Counterrevolutionary Clique Movement (1955- 1956). Both campaigns and the long incrimination of their respective central figures-Wang Shiwei (1906-1947) and Hu Feng (1902-1985)-have had a lasting impact on Chinese intellectuals and generated (auto)biographies, memoirs, and critical and scholarly writings. However, since the 1980s, victimized poets and writers managed to publish again, but the stories of their wives remained obscured and marginalized for years. Do the wives' memories matter? Where should we place their testimonies? Suppose memory can be inflected or shaped by gender-how can this pervasive social distinction be used to interpret personal and collective memory and achieve history writing on diverse platforms?

Andrew M Law (Senior Lecturer in Town Planning; Newcastle University; andrew.law@newcastle.ac.uk), (co-author: Qianqian Qin (Lecturer in Town Planning; Newcastle University))

'Hegemonic Han identities and alternative subjectivities: the contemporary Hanfu movement and broader national narratives of decline and rejuvenation' 

In recent years, a growing body of work has emerged on the Hanfu movement in China. While this work is encouraging, writers have often positioned the movement in terms of a response to national development, changes to national lifestyles, globalisation/westernisation and/or a hegemonic movement that reinforces H ...

TFDC 2.14 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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S. Louisa Wei (Associate Professor, City University of Hong Kong; smlouisa@cityu.edu.hk)

Incriminated Writers and Their Wives: Gendered Memory and Oral History of Mao's Campaign Years 

The primary source of this study is 110 interviews concerning two interrelated political campaigns operated by the Chinese Communist Party: the Yan'an Rectification Movement (1942-1944) and the Anti-Hu Feng Counterrevolutionary Clique Movement (1955- 1956). Both campaigns and the long incrimination of their respective central figures-Wang Shiwei (1906-1947) and Hu Feng (1902-1985)-have had a lasting impact on Chinese intellectuals and generated (auto)biographies, memoirs, and critical and scholarly writings. However, since the 1980s, victimized poets and writers managed to publish again, but the stories of their wives remained obscured and marginalized for years. Do the wives' memories matter? Where should we place their testimonies? Suppose memory can be inflected or shaped by gender-how can this pervasive social distinction be used to interpret personal and collective memory and achieve history writing on diverse platforms?


Andrew M Law (Senior Lecturer in Town Planning; Newcastle University; andrew.law@newcastle.ac.uk), (co-author: Qianqian Qin (Lecturer in Town Planning; Newcastle University))

'Hegemonic Han identities and alternative subjectivities: the contemporary Hanfu movement and broader national narratives of decline and rejuvenation' 

In recent years, a growing body of work has emerged on the Hanfu movement in China. While this work is encouraging, writers have often positioned the movement in terms of a response to national development, changes to national lifestyles, globalisation/westernisation and/or a hegemonic movement that reinforces Han chauvinistic and Han racialised discourses. Unsettling this binary, it is the argument of this book chapter, that the movement exists beyond binaries of responsiveness/resistance and hegemonic Han racialised identities. In this regard and drawing upon data, collected in the cities of Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Wuhan and Xi'an in 2013 and 2015, it is the argument of this chapter that the movement constructs narratives of Han ethnic decline and a narrative of moral and behavioural decline in contemporary China. In constructing these discourses, we suggest that at certain points the movement reproduces and reinforces Han ethnocentric discourse, (as opposed to racialised discourse) while in other places the movement constructs alternative moral subjectivities as a critical response to the contemporary climate of Chinese society and culture. Importantly, however, the movement also reflects broader discourses of national decline, humiliation and rejuvenation in China that speak to wider issues around the notions of national myths and national narratives.


Shu-Hua Kang (Doctoral candidate, McGill University, shuhuakang@gmail.com) 

Toward a Humanistic Discourse: Approaches to Gaining Public Support for Taiwanese Comfort Women 

The sociopolitical context of Taiwan has long impeded the full recognition of surviving "comfort women," formally recognized as military sexual slavery of the Imperial Japanese Military in World War II, and the issues they face. This paper examines the public discourses with which activists have engaged to gain public support for survivors in such a challenging environment. Besides the dominant discourses centered on nationalism and women's human rights, a "humanistic discourse" has been undertheorized. We discuss how activists in Taiwan initiated a humanistic public discourse that emphasizes the individual human characteristics of Comfort Women survivors, resisting the collective image reinforced by other narratives. By reflecting on the author's professional experience of arts-based social activism in this field, this study offers new perspectives on comfort women discourses and the implications for human rights practice.


Mary M. McCarthy (Professor, Drake University; mary.mccarthy@drake.edu)

Finding Place in Northeast Asia: Collective Memory Construction of the Marginalized, Disenfranchised, and Dislocated

This presentation will provide an overview of the field of memory studies in Northeast Asia, in the context of the overarching themes of the democratization of memory and the highlighting of the traditionally disenfranchised and marginalized in collective and public memory construction. This includes ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous people, women, migrants, and political prisoners. It will serve as the introduction to a forthcoming special issue in Memory Studies on collective memory construction of the marginalized, disenfranchised, and dislocated in Northeast and Southeast Asia.

Associate Professor
,
City University of Hong Kong
Senior Lecturer
,
Newcastle University
PhD Candidate
,
McGill University
Professor
,
Drake University
 Mary McCarthy
Professor
,
Drake University
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