Special workshop with Prof. Gerald Figal (Vanderbilt University)


Rethinking war memorials

14.1.2013, 16.30 - 18.00

Gerald Figal, Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies at Vanderbilt University (Nashville), is offering a workshop on war memorialization and tourism in postwar Okinawa. The aim is to first analyze collectively the strengths and weaknesses of the design, function, and purpose of war memorials in general and then, as a second step, that of the rather unusual “Cornerstone of Peace” (Heiwa no ishiji) in Okinawa in particular. 

By focusing on the use and symbolism of the “Cornerstone of Peace”, which also is a major tourist site in Okinawa, the participants will discuss both a concrete artifact and, at the same time, the related discourse on Okinawan responses to the legacies of war.

The workshop topic of war-related tourist destination sites in Okinawa will be contrasted with a public talk in the evening about the development of beach resorts in the shadow of war legacies.

Professor Figal is the author of Beachheads: War, Peace, and Tourism in Postwar Okinawa (Rowman & Littlefield Asia/Pacific/Perspectives Series, 2012). The workshop will be held in English and is open to advanced undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty members. Japanese language skills are not compulsory. Professor Figal will provide some online images related to the Cornerstone of Peace to examine before the workshop.

If you are interested in participating, please register for this workshop by sending an e-mail with your name, field and current level of study to Prof. Dr. Ina Hein (ina.hein@univie.ac.at) until January 7th, 2013.