To be held at the University of Sydney, 28 and 29 September 2015.
Attendance is free. You are warmly invited to attend the whole symposium or individual sessions.
Attempts at settling the legacy of the Cold War have resulted in national Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, prosecution (or attempted prosecution) of state officials, politicians and military officers and the construction of monuments and memorials as sites of memory. They have inspired an outpouring of literary and artistic works, and a flourishing film and documentary industry. They are often marked, however, by on-going dissent and recrimination, as the past ‘refuses to pass.’ This conference aims to trace these various ways of judging the past both in the countries at the hot centre of the Cold War and in those that were swept up in the wake of its confrontations. How have we and how can we come to terms with a past that is still so present?
Phillip Deery (Professor of History, College of the Arts, Victoria University)
Tim Harper (Reader in South-East Asian and Imperial History, University of Cambridge)
Katherine Hite (Professor of Political Science on the Frederick Ferris Thompson Chair, Vassar)
Klaus Neumann (Professor of History, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University)
Joy Damousi (Professor of History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne)
Ann Curthoys (Professsor emeritus, University of Sydney)
There are no conference fees. All sessions are open to interested academics. However it would help us to plan the conference if you can indicate that you are planning to attend.
|Monday 28||Tuesday 29|
|9-10||Welcome and opening sessionChair: Peter Read
Revisiting the Cold War
|Cultural Subjectivities in Researching the Cold War Chair: Nicholas Brown
Peter Read and Marivic Wyndham:
Cross-Cultural Challenges in Collaborative Research
|Legacies of the Cold War in South-East AsiaTim Harper: Remembering and Forgetting the Cold War in Southeast Asia
Adrian Vickers: Studying Indonesia in a Cold-War Context, Some Mainly Australian Conflicts
Representing the Korean War
Chair: Adrian Vickers
Judith Keene: ‘Massacre in Korea’: Picasso’s other Guernica?
Su-Kyoung Hwang: The Spectatorship of Korean War Massacres
|Reclaiming the Victims of the Cold WarChair: Katherine Hite
Michael Humphrey and Estela Valverde: Disappearance, Exhumation and Reburial: the historical recovery of victims in Argentina, Spain and Bosnia
Cold War and Decolonisation
Ndu-Life Njoku: Instrumentality of the ‘Enemy within’ in the Neo-colonization of the African Mind
Elizabeth Rechniewski: Reclaiming the Legacy of the UPC (Cameroon)
|1.30-3.30||Memories of the Cold War in Fiction, Cinema, TheatreChair: Judith Keene
Peter Morgan: Ismail Kadare and the Case of Albania
Danica Jenkins: Memories as monsters: the ‘return of the dead’ in post-1989 Balkan cinema
Wendy-Llyn Zaza: Writing the Return from Exile: “Mayéutica” (1997) and “La ex exiliada” (2005) by Teresa Gracia
|Writing the Memory of the Cold War in AustraliaChair: Joy Damousi
Ann Curthoys: My Cold War: History and Memoir
John Docker: Writing ‘ego-history’
Betty O’Neill: The Quest for Justice: one man’s story
|3.45-5.30||Uses of the Past. The Quest for Historical Justice in GreeceChair: Vras Karalis
Klaus Neumann: Debtors and Creditors
Joy Damousi: Memories of the Greek Civil War among Children of the Diaspora
| ‘The Past that will not Pass’Chair: Janna Thompson
James Curran: Memory failure: The collapse of sentiment in the US-Australia Alliance, 1968-75
Perry Johanssen: Living Hell and Living History: Differing approaches to come to terms with Swedish support of Pol Pot
Closing session: Nicholas Brown: ‘A profound personal choice, not an abstract one’: reflections on teaching the Cold War, and assessing its pedagogical relevance
|6-7||Politics, Human Rights and the Art of Commemoration of the AmericasKatherine Hite
Chair: Marivic Wyndham
|Booklaunch Tessa Morris-Suzuki launches Klaus Neumann and Janna Thompson’s book Historical Justice and Memory|
Tuesday 29 September at Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road. 6 for 6.30-7.30pm.
Tessa Morris-Suzuki will launch Historical Justice and Memory. All welcome.
Historical Justice and Memory Edited by Klaus Neumann and Janna Thompson
University of Wisconsin Press, 2015
Conference Dinner (Tuesday 29, 7.30pm) will follow the book launch at a restaurant in Glebe.
Politics, Human Rights and the Art of Commemoration of the Americas
Katherine Hite (Vassar)
This talk will explore the relationships among art, representation and politics through commemoration and counter-commemoration across the Americas, south and north. Hite will suggest that memorials are important conceptual and empirical lenses into deep politics of conflict and as suggestive arenas for imagining twenty-first century democratic praxis.
The Spectatorship of Korean War Massacres
Su-Kyoung Hwang (University of Sydney)
This paper discusses the execution of political prisoners and communist collaborators during the Korean War. After the North Korean occupation of South Korea in 1950, a half million South Koreans had been punished for collaborating with the communist forces. Some of the massacres were well documented. During the past two decades, photographic evidences of the persecutions were released to public and turned into iconic images of the Korean War. This paper discusses the authorship of such photographs and official documentation of the abuses. It also examines the role of UN troops, politicians, diplomats, and human rights groups in overseeing the mistreatment of civilian collaborators
Memories as monsters: the ‘return of the dead’ in post-1989 Balkan cinema.
Danica Jenkins (University of Sydney)
This paper explores how the ‘reawakening’ of latent / suppressed memories of past atrocities has contributed to the resurgence of conflict (not just armed conflict, but also conflict over the dominant narrative of the past) by using the metaphor of a ‘return of the dead’ – i.e. the refusal to come to terms with the past (or various versions of the past) in the Balkan context has resulted in a continuation of historical ‘ghosts’ haunting the present.
I would like to explore how Balkan directors cinematically perform this ‘return of the dead’ by narrating that which has been silenced, yet ultimately not forgotten, in the course of Balkan history, and consequently as a means of coming to terms with this past (i.e. exorcising the ‘ghosts’), such memories are often portrayed using themes of monstrosity. By doing so, these directors encourage a kind of collective self-forgiveness that comes only from confronting/accepting past transgressions, and thus such films help to transform the recurring nightmares of Balkan history into foregone recollections.
Living Hell and Living History: Differing approaches to come to terms with Swedish support of Pol Pot
Perry Johanssen (Hong Kong Baptist University)
As the Cold War came to an end Sweden faced a similar dilemma as when answering for its assistance to Germany after WW II. Following its exceptional siding with Hanoi and NLF during the Vietnam War, the social democratic regime extended good will also to Cambodia when Pol Pot took power; offering aid and becoming the first western nation to establish diplomatic relations. The Khmer Rouge on their side graciously accepted a number of Swedish observers to bear witness about the revolution being carried out: All delivered positive reports from what they were presented. When the murderous regime came to an end and its atrocities were revealed, Sweden’s first reaction was to keep quiet and forget about its involvement. However, in 2009 the responsibility of having praised a genocidal regime is discussed through an exhibition by the Swedish public authority Living History Forum. A former Maoist also returns to Cambodia that year touring the country with another exhibition. Discussing these two attempts at reconciliation the paper will question how and why the official political support for the Khmer Rouge has been downplayed in place of the personal responsibility of some former individual Maoists. We also ponder over the fact that, in orientalist fashion, Cambodian, Chinese, and Vietnamese agency is still disavowed. It was after all they who influenced, fooled and won over the Swedes for their cause.
David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies
Hong Kong Baptist University
Ismail Kadare and the Case of Albania
Peter Morgan, University of Sydney
Albania represents a unique case in the environment of ‘truth and reconciliation’ after the end of communism and the Cold War. Despite having hosted the most closed and ruthless of the Eastern European dictatorships under Enver Hoxha, the country has undertaken relatively little by way of coming-to-terms with the past. While there are signs that a younger generation of scholars and historians is beginning to look back with clearer eyes, Ismail Kadare, Albania’s great spokesman and novelist under the dictatorship continues to be the dominant and highly controversial voice of retrospection and judgement. Kadare has spent the postcommunist years coming to terms with the legacy of his country, of a history that began badly in the year of national liberation, 1913 and suffered during the war years. Under long-time dictator, Enver Hoxha, the suffering continued, but in different ways. And yet there were also achievements here as elsewhere in Eastern Europe, at least during the foundation years of the fifties. As a product of the immediate post-war period, Kadare recognized this. Plucked from his native Gjirokaster as a precocious talent, he was sent to the Gorky Institute for World Literature in Moscow to learn the ways of the writer under communism. However, at the time of the Pasternak trials he learned more than his leaders expected, and he returned to Albania apprised of the workings of power and sceptical about the limitations of freedom under the communist system. If Kadare’s work under the dictatorship represented a sustained attempt to retain the memory and the image of an alternative Albania to that of the dictatorship, his work since the fall of the regime can be viewed as an ongoing engagement with the Albanian past since his childhood during the war. It is characterized by a deep recognition of the difficulties of Albanian history and the challenges posed by the dictatorship. Since the end of the dictatorship he has subjected the past half century to sustained critical scrutiny in novels recognizing the human aspects of loss and detailing their political and social consequences for a nation battling to emerge from its traumatic past. In my paper I analyse and interpret Kadare’s postcommunist literary output in terms of its unique and nuanced engagement with his nation’s “past that refuses to pass.”
Instrumentality of the ‘Enemy within’ in the Neo-colonization of the African Mind: Judging the Past in a Post Cold War Nigeria
Ndu Life Njoku (lead paper presenter)
Dept. of History & Int’l Studies,Imo State UniversityOwerri, NIGERIA
Email: email@example.com; Phone: +234-803-6677-440)
Linda Chijioke IhenachoFederal Radio Corporation of NigeriaHeartland FM, OwerriImo State, NIGERIA(EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org; PHONE: +234-8060857855)
This paper is concerned with the scramble for, and partition of, the African mind or consciousness during the post-War era. This third scramble resulted from the struggle for world dominion between the West and the Communist States of the East, led by the now defunct Soviet Union. This contest, more generally code-named “the Cold War”, became the very substance and tissue of world politics after World War II, and thus was attaining its acme about the decade that saw the African colonies of Europe emerge as independent nation states of sorts. In the belief that these states were going to alter the balance of power in the United Nations and other world bodies, and concerned to have unhindered access to their resources, each of the two blocs set out to ‘capture’ and keep as many of the new nations of Africa as possible in its ideological camp through the instrumentality of ‘the enemy within’. Using Nigeria as a unit of analysis, the paper argues that, a link exists between the ideological domestication or conquest of post-War Africa and ‘the enemy within’ in the character or nature of Africa. The cleavages resulting from inter and intra-group rivalries, personality clashes, religious and cultural divergences and other adverse situations which promoted instability and the near absence of public order in some African communities made many Africans ready instruments for the propagation of foreign ideologies, thereby emerging as ‘the enemy within’. The paper concludes that, it is within this context that one appreciates not just how and why the third scramble and occupation resulted, but also how colonial rule in post-war Nigeria successfully reconfigured in the future interest of the neo-colonialists.
Debtors and Creditors
Klaus Neumann (Swinburne)
Earlier this year, the Greek government announced that Germany owed Greece a total of €278.7 billion in reparations. This amount includes €10.3 billion to account for a loan which Germany allegedly took out while Greece was under German occupation. At first sight, the Greek demand seemed to be a response to Germany’s insistence that Greece repay its current debts and meet the conditions imposed on it by its creditors. However, Greece has long maintained that the injustices suffered by Greece and its people at the hands of Nazi Germany need to be redressed; while the timing of the Greek demand and the calculation of the amount of money sought from Germany may have been influenced by the negotiations between Greece, on the one hand, and the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the other, the vexed issue of reparations for injustices suffered during the Second World War predates Greece’s current financial difficulties. Developing ideas which I first presented in an essay published in April this year (http://insidestory.org.au/debts-and-other-legacies), I use this case to explore broader issues of justice for wrongs committed in the name of Nazi Germany.
The Quest for Justice: one man’s story
Betty O’Neill (UTS)
This paper explores the impact of the cold war through a micro-history – my father’s experience as a political prisoner, WWII concentration camp survivor and an immigrant to Australia unable to return to post-war communist Poland, seeking recognition and justice for his suffering and loss. To this end he spent the cold-war years in Australia gathering documentation with the aim of compensation and eventually returning ‘home’. Like so many survivors, he never spoke to his family about his experiences. My second generation knowledge has come from research into his life and a field trip to Poland in 2013 resulting in the unexpected inheritance of a family archive. It consists of letters, postcards, official documents and certificates, photos and material artefacts, providing documentary evidence of my father’s experiences and his attempts at redress. Additional information has been gathered from archives in Auschwitz, Mauthausen/Gusen, ZBoWID (Office for War Veterans and Repressed Persons, Warsaw), the Polish Underground Movement Study Trust and the Polish Institute in London. This diversity of sources has retraced the steps of my father’s ultimately successful thirty year quest for justice. This paper will examine the implications of an individual’s attempt at redress and how we come to terms with a past that continues to reverberate through subsequent generations.
Betty O’Neill is a Doctor of Creative Arts student at the University of Technology, Sydney researching and writing a hybrid history/biography/memoir. She recently presented a paper at the Family History: Facilitating Intergenerational and Intercultural Exchange conference in Tartu, Estonia. She has taught Adult Education for twenty-five years at UTS.
Reclaiming the Legacy of the UPC
Elizabeth Rechniewski ( University of Sydney)
The UPC (Union des Populations du Cameroun) was founded in French Cameroon in 1948 to campaign for independence. Cameroon was at that time a UN trust territory divided between Britain and France, the French administering the Eastern sector (four fifths of the territory) in much the same way as its sub-Saharan colonies. A dynamic, socially progressive movement that by the early 1950s had hundreds of thousands of members, the UPC was banned in 1955, France fearing that it would not be able to control the future Cameroon. UPC leaders went into exile or organised guerrilla activity that led to a covert war (1955-71) in which French troops and officers were involved both before and after independence (1960). France was thus able to ensure the establishment of a neo-colonial relationship under the quasi-dictatorships of Ahmadou Ahidjo (1960-82) and Paul Biya (1982-present).
This paper examines the interplay of factors (including the Cold War and French economic and geo-political interests) that underpinned the war, and the recent attempts to reclaim the memory of the struggle and the social and political legacy of the UPC, whose programme had envisaged a very different destiny for Cameroon.
Writing the Return from Exile: “Mayéutica” (1997) and “La ex exiliada” (2005) by Teresa Gracia
Wendy-Llyn Zaza, University of Aucklandw.email@example.com
Following the Allied victory in World War II in 1945, Spanish Republicans in exile were confident that the western democracies would agree to precipitate the downfall of Francisco Franco and the Francoist regime in post-Civil War Spain. The ensuing division of Europe into the Western and Eastern blocs and Spain’s isolation from the international community dashed all prospect of that happening. Republicans in Spain and in exile did not, however, have to wait until the end of the Cold War for democracy to be reinstated in Spain. For the demise of the dictator in 1975 heralded in the transition from authoritarian rule to a democratic form of government, albeit on unequal grounds. This was particularly so for the returning exiles: at the end of the Spanish Civil War, exile had been decreed not to exist, and the exiles equated with the dead (Abellán). Their coming back from that historiographical death was no easy task. While they had collectively fled Spain and were collectively written out of Francoist history, the return was not an organised en masse affair, but a gradual return, largely as individuals or families. Hence they were too easily ignored by the unaccommodating government of the day and recriminated against by individuals who had survived the Francoist regime. This paper explores the perspectives put forward by Teresa Gracia (1932-2001) in two short plays, “Maieutics. Play in One Act for the Witness Stand” (1997) and “The Ex-Exile” (2005), in which the author, who crossed the Hispano-French border into exile as a seven year old in 1939, draws upon her own encounters following her return to Spain in 1980.
Cross-Cultural Challenges in Collaborative Research
Peter Read (ANU) and Marivic Wyndham (UTS)
Our collaborative research conducted over the past 20 years in two key Latin American Cold War battlegrounds – Cuba and Chile – has focused on custodianship of place and memorialisation of sites of conscience. That different approaches to our research should sometimes emerge is part and parcel of the collaborative project. That these approaches should be so culturally bound proved an unexpected dimension. In our paper, we discuss particular case studies – three in Cuba and one in Chile – in which the cross-cultural nature of our collaboration underscored the richness and complexity of post-Cold War Latin American research work.
Ann Curthoys (University of Sydney)
Joy Damousi (University of Melbourne)
Matthew Graves (Aix-Marseille University)
Tim Harper (University of Cambridge)
Judith Keene (University of Sydney)
Peter Read (ANU)
Elizabeth Rechniewski (University of Sydney)
Marivic Wyndham (University of Technology Sydney)
Henry Rousso (CNRS, Institut d’histoire du temps présent)
Adrian Vickers (University of Sydney)
Prof Peter Read firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Judith Keene email@example.com
Dr Elizabeth Rechniewski firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof Adrian Vickers email@example.com
Dr Marivic Wyndham firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact one of the Organising