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Tessa Morris-Suzuki 'Exposing Private Lives'

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Flinders University at Victoria Square

182 Victoria Square

Adelaide, SA 5000

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PUBLIC KEYNOTE LECTURE


Flinders Life Narrative Research Group and the Matthew Flinders Fellowship in History are pleased to host Emeritus Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki to deliver the public keynote address ‘Private Lives at War: Exploring the Personal in Pacific War History’.

Abstract:

This paper uses two personal stories from the Pacific War to explore the possibilities and challenges of writing “human life sized history”. The life stories of individuals who experienced the Pacific War can shed fascinating light on neglected facets of wartime history, but the historian who tells the life stories of others faces many challenges. The ethics protocols developed by universities provide only limited guidance in addressing the ethical issues inherent in telling the life-stories of others, suggesting the need for wider processes of discussion around the techniques of writing micro-history through personal lives. This paper aims to open up debate around the potential of life histories to illuminate micro-history, and around the ethical issues involved in life history writing, by looking at two examples – the life stories of Korean kamikaze pilot Pak Injo and of Ruby Lum, a woman interned as an “enemy alien” in wartime Australia.

Biography:

Tessa Morris-Suzuki is Emeritus Professor of Japanese History at the Australian National University and ARC Laureate Fellow. Her books include The Living Politics of Self- Help Movements in East Asia, co-edited with Tom Cliff and Shuge Wei; East Asia Beyond the History Wars, co-authored with Morris Low, leonid Petrov and Timothy Y. Tsu; Borderline Japan, a study of migration and border controls in the postwar era; To the Diamond Mountains, which retraces the journey made by English traveller Emily Georgiana Kemp through China and Korea in 1910; Exodus to North Korea, a study of the mass migration of ethnic Koreans from Japan to North Korea in the Cold War era, and The Past Within Us: Media, Memory, History, which discusses the representation of history in varied popular media. She has also written one factually based historical novel, The Searcher, published this year under the pen name T. J. Alexander.


If you have any enquiries please contact chass.operations@flinders.edu.au

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Flinders University at Victoria Square

182 Victoria Square

Adelaide, SA 5000

Australia

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