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John W. Treat (Yale University): "Hannah Arendt in Asia: Responsibility and Judgment in Nanking and Hiroshima."

May 26, 2014 | 06:00 PM c.t.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) had virtually nothing to say about twentieth-century East Asian history, but her political philosophy provides us with clues to what she might have had to say about both the postwar International Military Tribunal for the Far East ("Tokyo War Crimes Trial") and a trial of the United States for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, had one taken place. This lecture will examine both the IMTFE court records concerning the Rape of Nanking and Hotta Yoshie's 1963 novel JUDGMENT (Shinpan) in an Arendtian frame of responsibility and judgment without mitigation for intentionality.


John Whittier Treat is a Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University, and is the author of Writing Ground Zero: Japanese Literature and the Atomic Bomb (Chicago, 1995). His work on Hannah Arendt is part of a larger project about justice and its administration in the wake of World War II in East Asia.

The lecture is held in cooperation with the Institute for Japanese Studies, the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies and the GEAS.

Time & Location

May 26, 2014 | 06:00 PM c.t.

Rost-/Silberlaube, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Room K 25/11