Wellesley College Professors To Discuss
‘World War II and the Politics of Memory’ Nov. 7

For immediate release:
November 3, 2005
Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- A Wellesley College faculty panel discussion, “World War II and the Politics of Memory,” will be presented Monday, Nov. 7, at 8 pm in Pendleton Atrium, Pendleton Hall, on the Wellesley College campus.

Three members of Wellesley’s History Department will address the politics of war memory, particularly in East Asia, Western Europe and Russia. Speakers include Y. Tak Matsusaka, Nina Tumarkin and Dean of the College Andrew Shennan.

“This year’s 60th anniversary of the end of World War II raised searing questions about how the war should be understood and remembered,” Tumarkin said. “What, in fact, should be remembered, and what ought to be forgotten? Victory? Defeat? Wartime atrocities? Immediate postwar aggression? Should heavy wartime losses exempt a nation from taking moral responsibility for its wartime crimes?”

Recently, Tumarkin noted, responses to these and other questions have erupted into heated debates “and governments in various countries have exploited the memory—or idealized memory—of World War II to serve current political agendas.”

Tumarkin teaches courses on the entire span of Russian history and on Europe in the 20th century; Matsusaka is a specialist in the history of modern Japan; Shennan’s interests focus on modern European history, with a particular emphasis on the 20th century, the history of modern France and World War II.

The panel is sponsored by Wellesley’s History Department and Clio, a new History Department student organization. For more information, e-mail ntumarkin@wellesley.edu or call 781-283-2602.