This interdisciplinary project examines US-American reeducation politics in its various aspects in Germany and Japan after World War II in a transnational and comparative perspective. It takes into account entanglements in the cultural imaginary, the mass media, and civil society at large. The project seeks to identify the multidirectional influences, ramifications, and interdependencies between the US and Japan, the US and Germany as well as Japan and Germany which work in each of those domestic as well as foreign settings as part of a foundational discourse of legitimation. For instance, the positive self-representation of the US as a democratic exemplum to Japanese and German audiences points to attempts to mitigate social tensions and conflicts ‘at home’. Individual projects address gender regimes (in reeducation and Hollywood films as well as in Japanese women’s magazines), discourses on race (in cultural representations of and by African American soldiers and in Japanese-Okinawan identity constructions), and public opinion (broadcasting and public opinion research in Japan and Germany); instead of looking primarily at national developments, the aim is to study transnational relations, intra-cultural differences, and subnational formations. The main focus is on the construction of imagined communities as well as the ways in which reeducation efforts unfold in specific contexts characterized by asymmetrical power relations. Ultimately, this project works towards establishing “comparative reeducation studies” as an interdisciplinary field of study.
The Ambiguous Semantics of “Reeducation” in Transnational and Transhistorical Perspective
International Conference, February 16-18, 2022 at Amerikahaus Munich (Germany)
Please click here for the call for papers (proposals are due on Sept. 1, 2021).