CAPS406.01 "Hiroshima: Eros of Thanatos?"
Autumn 1999 James Orr, 12 A Marts Hall ext 3388
Wednesday 7 - 9:52 firstname.lastname@example.org Homepage
Biology Bldg. 222 Office hours: By appointment
Students will be evaluated on class participation, essays on the readings, group
presentations, and a term essay.
The journal, class preparation, and participation. For the first two thirds of the course, the
evening sessions usually begin with exchange of journal entries on that week's readings, or
with videos and recordings of contemporary films, plays, cartoons, documentaries, and
radio drama. These will serve to launch our discussions on the readings for that week's
seminar. Once during the term you will be required to read an extra assignment and be able
to summarize for the class its relevance to that week's topic. I will give you an indication
of how you are doing at midterm. (25%)
Three essays (three to five pages, typed, one and one half spaced) on a topic of interest
dealt with in that week's readings. One of these essays should be done the week you have
the extra assignment (and is graded on a scale of 15). Essays are due in the East Asian
Studies Department office (or sent to me cybernetically) by Friday of the week of the
reading assignments. You may re-submit essays which you choose to redraft substantially
(for a maximum grade of "9," or "13.5" for the extra-reading week's essay) after I return
comments on them to you. With your resubmission, due one week after I return your
essay, you should include the original paper and a short paragraph detailing exactly what
substantive changes/additions you have made. (35%) [Barring prior permission under exceptional
circumstances, late essays will not be accepted.]
Presentation of project of special interest. There are four (4) class periods reserved for
presentations in late October and November. You will split up into four groups of four to
five students, and conduct that week's class. You must decide among yourselves what
background readings to assign the rest of the class. You will be evaluated as a group, and
must submit a group written report on the topic (due the Friday after). (20%)
Reflective essay on Hiroshima or a theme related to the course (five to ten pages, typed,
double spaced). You may find it helpful to peruse the websites and the numerous thought
provoking items reprinted in Hiroshima's Shadow. Due December 3. (20%)
Hersey, John. Hiroshima (1946)
Ibuse, Masuji. Black Rain (1965-6)
Bird, Kai., and Lawrence Lifschultz. eds. Hiroshima's Shadow (1998)
Lifton, Robert J. and Greg Mitchell. Hiroshima in America: Fifty Years of Denial (1995)
Sugested: Goodman, David B. After Apocalypse: Four Japanese Plays of Hiroshima and
Suggested: Lifton, Death in Life.
Week #1 (8/25)
- Supplementary readings on reserve. Substitutions and additions possible. Refer also to
list of www links at:
The Smithsonian's Enola Gay controversy--opinion pieces and discussion; ABC television
special of August 6, 1995 "Hiroshima: Why the Bomb was Dropped."
Week #2 (9/1)
What is it that should be commemorated: A lesson in history and historiography; radio
(Norman Corwin's "August 14"); video ("Cap'n Cub" 1944; Frank Capra's "Why We Fight: The
Battle of China" 1944)
- Hogan, Michael J. "The Enola Gay Controversy: History, Memory, and the
Politics of Presentation." In Hogan, ed., Hiroshima in History and
Memory, 200-232. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
- Of interest: NHK Enola Gay Website( http://www.nhk.or.jp/nuclear/e/text/sumiso.htm)
Extra reading--also requires leading discussion of Sigal.
Curators of the National Air and Space Museum. "The Crossroads: The End of
World War II, The Atomic Bomb, and the Origins of the Cold War." In
Nobile, Philip, ed. Judgment at the Smithsonian (1995), 1-126.
- Sigal, Leon V. "The Politics of Military Force," in Fighting to a Finish (1988):
Of interest: Gene Dannen's list of relevant documents regarding the decision to use the
bomb (http://www.dannen.com/decision/index.html), including a very thoughtful
1960 interview with Leo Szilard, and an audio clip of Pres. Truman's
announcement following Hiroshima.
Week #3 (9/8)
Early American construction of Hiroshima; an early documentary: "The Atom Strikes"
- Hersey, John. Hiroshima (1946).
- Stimson, Henry L. "The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb." Harper's Magazine
194.1161 (February 1947): 97-107. Reprinted in Hiroshima's Shadows,
- Compton, Karl T. "If the Atomic Bomb had not been Used." Atlantic Monthly
178 (December 1946): 54-56.
- McCarthy, Mary. "The 'Hiroshima' New Yorker." In Hiroshima's Shadows,
edited by Kai Bird, 303-304.
- Bernstein, Barton. "Seizing the Contested Terrain of Early Nuclear History."
Diplomatic History 17.1 (Winter 1993): 35-72. Reprinted in Hiroshima's
Week #4 (9/15)
Cold War in earnest and in desperation; documentaries: "You Can Beat the A-Bomb" et al
Film: "The War Game" (1966) [U313 .W37x 1991 -- VIDEOTAPE]
- Cumings, Bruce. "Kennan, Containment, Conciliation: The End of Cold War
History." Current History (November 1995): 359-63.
- Porro, et al. The Nuclear Age Reader, 109-114; 185-194. Selections on
Eisenhower and Kennedy administration strategic policies.
- Watson, Bruce. "We Couldn't Run, So We Hoped We Could Hide." Smithsonian
(April 1994): 47-57.
Week #5 (9/22)
- Rowen, Henry S. "Evolution of Strategic Nuclear Doctrine." In Amirsadeghi,
Strategic Thought in the Nuclear Age (1979): 131-56.
History and Memory in Japan
- Dower, John. "The Bombed: Hiroshimas and Nagasakis in Japanese Memory."
Diplomatic History 19.2 (Spring 1995): 275-95; revised and reprinted in
Hiroshima in History and Memory, 116-142.
- Yoneyama, Lisa. "Memory Matters: Hiroshima's Korean Atom Bomb Memorial
and the Politics of Ethnicity." In Living with the Bomb, 202-231.
Website: A-Bomb WWW Museum (http://www.csi.ad.jp/ABOMB/index.html)
Week #6 (9/29)
What about the original victims? Selections from "Rhapsody in August" 1991) or
- Lifton, Robert J. Preface, Introduction and chapters 1-3 from Death in Life (1968):
- Braw, Monica. "Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Voluntary Silence." In Living with
the Bomb, 155-172.
- Pomper, Philip. "Lifton." In his The Structure of Mind in History: Five Major
Figures in Psychohistory (1985): 143-65.
Week #7 (10/6)
- Hirsch, Herbert. "Robert Jay Lifton: Memory and Mass Death." In his Genocide
and the Politics of Memory: Studying Death to Preserve Life (1996): 83-93.
Attempts at representation; "Dance of Darkness" or "Musume Dojoji Butoh"
Week #9 (10/20)
Week #8 (10/13)
- Ibuse, Masuji. Black Rain (1965-6).
- Lifton, Death in Life, Chapters 10, 11.
- Goodman, David B. After Apocalypse: Four Japanese Plays of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki. (1994). "The Elephant" and "Nezumi Kozô: The Rat."
- Treat, John. ""Genre and Post-Hiroshima Representation." In Writing Ground
Zero: Japanese Literature and the Atomic Bomb (1995): 45-81; or ""Ibuse
Masuji: Nature, Nostalgia, Memory" in same, 261-99.
- M.A.D. Satire: "Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the
- Kahn, Herman. "Will the Survivors Envy the Dead?" In Kahn, On Thermonuclear
War (1961): skim 40-85, read 85-95.
- Linden, George W. "Dr. Stangelove Or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and
Love the Bomb." In Nuclear War Films, edited by Jack G. Shaheen, 58
67. Southern Illinois University Press, 1978.
- Hoberman, J. "When Dr. No met Dr. Strangelove." (movies influenced by John
F. Kennedy's politics). In Sight and Sound Dec. 1993, v.3, n. 12, p.
16(6). For general background on the film in the context of early 1960s
Cold War politics.
- Southern, Terry. "Strangelove outtake: notes from the war room." In Grand Street
Summer 1994, v. 13, n1, p. 64(17). For general background on
- Napier, Susan J. "Panic sites: the Japanese Imagination of Disaster from 'Godzilla'
to 'Akira.'" Journal of Japanese Studies 19.2 (Summer 1993): 327-51.
- Film: Fail Safe (1964) [CALL NUMBER: PN1997 FAIL -- VIDEOTAPE]
- Wollscheidt, Michael B. "Fail Safe." In Nuclear War Films, 68-75.
- Goodman, David G., and Masanori Miyazawa. Chapter VI, "Identification and
Denial: The Uses of the Jews in the Postwar Period," in Jews in the
Japanese Mind: The History and Uses of a Cultural Stereotype, 135-82.
New York: Free Press, 1995
- Boyer, Paul. "Exotic Resonances: Hiroshima in American Memory." Diplomatic
History 19.2 (Spring 1995): 297-319; also in Hiroshima in History and
- Minear, Richard H. "Atomic Holocaust, Nazi Holocaust: Some Reflections."
Diplomatic History 19.2 (Spring 1995): 347-365.
Ben Dasan, Isaiah. Skim his book The Japanese and the Jews (1972).
Week #10 (10/27) Group projects
Week #11 (11/3) Group projects
Week #12 (11/10) Group projects
Week #13 (11/17) Group projects
Week #14 (11/24) Thanksgiving Recess, No Class
Week #15 (12/1) Last Class. Contemporary video.
- Selections from Lifton, Robert J. and Greg Mitchell. Hiroshima in America: Fifty Years of Denial (1995).
- Dower, John. “Three Narratives of Our Humanity.” In History Wars: The Enola Gay and other Battles for the American Past, ed. by Edward T. Linenthal and Tom Engelhardt, 63-96.
- Film: "Desert Bloom" (1986), other film to be determined, or extra readings for
week # 7.
Friday, December 3: Reflective essay due.