World War II in China — Seriously Understudied History
On 22 January, 2016 Judd Kinzley, Assistant Professor at the Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA gave a presentation, ‘Wartime Atrocities and the Historical Legacies of World War II in China’at the academic seminar of the HSE International Center for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences.
In this talk Assistant Prof. Kinzley sought to understand the long term legacies of Japan's war in China by thinking about the shifting ways in which punishment and reparations have been pursued by various Chinese governments. Beginning with a description of Japan's atrocities and its war effort in China, the talk continued with the immediate post war pursuit of war criminals, the changes to that policy brought about by the Cold War and the ways that memories of the war continue to be shaped and manipulated by leaders in the People's Republic today.
Judd Kinzley says that, ‘In the context of China, World War II is really understudied.’ Why it is understudied and the role that memories of the war have had in shaping modern China was the focus of his talk. ‘I think that so much more work remains to be done on the experience of China at war,’ explains Kinzley. ‘ The most impressive thing for me about the war is just how little the war was talked about in China from 1950 to 1985. In a war in which perhaps 35 million Chinese died, the fact that it was talked about so little for nearly all of the second half of the 20th century is quite shocking to me.’
The most impressive thing for me about the war is just how little the war was talked about in China from 1950 to 1985. In a war in which perhaps 35 million Chinese died, the fact that it was talked about so little for nearly all of the second half of the 20th century is quite shocking to me
Judd Kinzley is an expert in the history of modern China. His research interests include environmental history, state power, industrial development, and wartime mobilization. Russia, he explains, has come into his field of research through his interest in China, ‘The Soviet Union was the main supporter of China in the early years following the Japanese invasion. We tend to think of the US as being China's main ally during the war, but this was not the case until December of 1942. In fact, Soviet military aid and the efforts of Red Army pilots kept China in the war in 1937, 1938, 1939, and 1940.’
This is Judd’s first trip to Moscow and he hopes to develop the connection he has made with HSE through Liudmila Novikova to whom he was introduced by a colleague back in Wisconsin who heard he was organising a research trip to Moscow. Judd hasn’t had much time to look around, ‘I have spent most of my time in the RGAE, the Russian State Economics Archives, which has been a really great experience. I don't have any specific plans for on-going projects but now that I know more about Moscow and the research opportunities available here, I want to try and find more reasons to come back!’
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service
Nikolai Pavlenko, a shadow entrepreneur and creator of a successful business in Stalin’s USSR, was executed by firing squad in 1955. Running a successful commercial enterprise right under the dictator’s nose in a strictly planned economy was a striking but not so uncommon case in the Soviet Union at the time, according to HSE professor Oleg Khlevniuk who made a number of unexpected findings having studied newly accessible archival documents. Below, IQ.HSE offers a summary of what his study reveals.
Mental health disorders are among the leading worldwide causes of disease and long-term disability. This issue has a long and painful history of gradual de-stigmatization of patients, coinciding with humanization of therapeutic approaches. What are the current trends in Russia regarding this issue and in what ways is it similar to and different from Western countries? IQ.HSE provides an overview of this problem based on research carried out by Svetlana Kolpakova.
Medieval horror, vampires, sorcerers, mysterious monks and the rising dead, alongside real historical figures and stories about the Russian Civil War wrapped in the aura of mysticism – this is perhaps the shortest formula for Daurian Gothic. Alexei Mikhalev, Doctor of Political Science, discusses this phenomenon and its evolution.
The International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at HSE University held a Graduate Student Seminar in Soviet History together with Sciences Po (France) on June 17 – 18, 2019. HSE News Service spoke with participants and instructors of the seminar, which examinedthe impact of WWII on the Soviet Union and surrounding regions, as well as aspects of the Soviet system from Stalin up to the 1980s.
On June 24-25, HSE University held the international academic conference, ‘The 1990s: A Social History of Russia’ organized by International Center for the History and Sociology of World World War II and its Consequences, the Boris Yeltsin Center, the Egor Gaider Foundation, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. HSE News Service spoke with Roberto Rabbia, one of the international participants, about how he became interested in Soviet history, why he reads Soviet newspapers, and what he has learned from his research.
Martin Beisswenger has been a professor in HSE’s School of History since 2013. Recently, HSE News Service sat down with him to learn about his impressions of Moscow, his research projects, the course he is currently teaching and more.
The Master's Programme ‘Socioeconomic and Political Development of Modern Asia’ gives students the opportunity to study Asian countries not only in theory but in practice, thanks to academic mobility programmes at partner universities in China and other countries. HSE News Service spoke with three students of the programme about three aspects of their experiences—study, communication and food.
Almost 40 teams took part in the ‘Through the pages of Basmania’ quest, organized by the Higher School of Economics as part of an annual citywide event, Library Night. Event participants also staged passages from Romeo and Juliet and attended lectures about theatre at HSE library.
Today, we have moved from the political concept of panem et circenses (bread and circuses) to keep the masses happy to the dangers of culture driven by spectacle and politics driven by algorithms. Post-war theoreticians of the crowd had personal experience of fascism, and today contemporary artists are attempting to address similar problems. During the XX April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, scheduled this year for April 9-12 at the Higher School of Economics, Sarah Wilson, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, will explore some of these issues in her presentation 'Culture and Emigration, Crowds and Power.'
Legally, the 1917 revolution solved the gender issue in the Russian academic community. The doors to the profession opened for women, but a ‘glass ceiling’ remained. Ekaterina Streltsova and Evgenia Dolgova studied who it affected and why. This study is the first to present a socio-demographic analysis of the female academic community in Moscow and Leningrad during the early Soviet era.