Organized Panel Session
In this panel, four historians who have recently published monographs on the Japanese Empire discuss how their work contributes to a reshaping of the field by challenging conventional conceptual, social, spatial and chronological boundaries. Ethan Mark looks at the Japanese occupation of Java not only as a confrontation between Japanese imperialism and Indonesian nationalism, but also as an ambiguous and productive intersection between them; Kirsten Ziomek focuses on experiences of colonial subjects and suggests new ways of narrating their histories through the use of oral, visual, and material evidence; David Ambaras considers how intimate relationships both transgressed and produced imperial borders, thereby shaping modern territoriality and spatial imaginations of the Sinosphere; and Sayaka Chatani highlights the emotional and social complexities in local villages that drove a massive number of rural youth across the empire into ideological mobilization.
Set alongside one another, these four groundbreaking studies map out new terrain in the study of the Japanese empire and beyond. The presenters will highlight distinctive as well as shared concerns and challenges including moving past the conventions of nation-centrism, eurocentrism, chronology, and teleology. In interaction with one another and with distinguished chair and discussant Jordan Sand—who has dubbed these works a “new wave” in the field—the panel collectively provides a new picture of the Japanese empire characterized by fluid and diverse experiences that exceed and call into question the narrative and conceptual binaries and boundaries of time and space, the national and the imperial, the central and the peripheral.