Hiroshima: The Origins of Global Memory Culture

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9781107071278: Hiroshima: The Origins of Global Memory Culture

In 1962, a Hiroshima peace delegation and an Auschwitz survivor's organization exchanged relics and testimonies, including the bones and ashes of Auschwitz victims. This symbolic encounter, in which the dead were literally conscripted in the service of the politics of the living, serves as a cornerstone of this volume, capturing how memory was utilized to rebuild and redefine a shattered world. This is a powerful study of the contentious history of remembrance and the commemoration of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima in the context of the global development of Holocaust and World War II memory. Emphasizing the importance of nuclear issues in the 1950s and 1960s, Zwigenberg traces the rise of global commemoration culture through the reconstruction of Hiroshima as a 'City of Bright Peace', memorials and museums, global tourism, developments in psychiatry, and the emergence of the figure of the survivor-witness and its consequences for global memory practices.

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Book Description:

A powerful exploration of the interaction between the history of Hiroshima and the global emergence of a culture of witnessing, trauma and remembrance following World War II. Zwigenberg traces the reconstruction of Hiroshima as a 'City of Bright Peace' against the twentieth-century backdrop of the Cold War and Holocaust memory.

About the Author:

Ran Zwigenberg graduated in history from Hunter College, City University of New York, after which he went to work for the United Nations. He recently finished his PhD in history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Zwigenberg's research focuses on modern Japanese and European history, with a specialization in memory and intellectual history. He has published on issues of war memory, atomic energy and survivor politics, and has won numerous fellowships including from the Japan Foundation, the Social Science Research Council's IDRF fellowship, and the ACLS dissertation completion award. He has presented his work in Israel, Europe, the US and Japan. Zwigenberg is currently Assistant Professor in History and Asian Studies at Pennsylvania State University.

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