In a companion article, “Terrible Knowledge And Tertiary Trauma, Part I: Japanese Nuclear Trauma And Resistance To The Atomic Bomb” (this issue), I argue that we need to teach about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though the material is difficult emotionally as well as intellectually. Because of the nature of the information, this topic can be as difficult for graduate students (and their professors!) as for younger students. Teaching about the atomic bombings, however, demands special treatment if (...) we are to prevent a sense of isolation, immobilization, or helplessness in students. We can do this by building a strong community of learning, offering students as much control over their learning as possible, and helping them find ways to connect to larger social and political processes and movements that make sense of an endangered world. Here I offer some thoughts on how to teach it, along with discussion questions, applicable to K-graduate school. Since middle-school students are becoming keenly aware of the larger world through the Internet, and middle school teaching can be (comparatively) easy to adapt for other age groups, I also offer some suggestions of some materials and projects appropriate for use with that age group. (shrink)
Varieties of Ethical Reflection brings together new cultural and religious perspectives—drawn from non-Western, primarily Asian, philosophical sources—to globalize the contemporary discussion of theoretical and applied ethics.
This article discusses twelve reasons that we must teach about the 1945 American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As with Holocaust studies, we must teach this material even though it is both emotionally and intellectually difficult—in spite of our feelings of repugnance and/or grief, and our concerns regarding students’ potential distress (“tertiary trauma”). To handle such material effectively, we should keep in mind ten objectives: 1) to expand students' knowledge about the subject along with the victims’ experience of it; (...) 2) to develop teachers’ awareness of and comfort with it; 3) to help students cope with this knowledge so they are not traumatized themselves; 4) to make sure students don't take refuge in callousness, inappropriate humor, blaming the victim, or despair; 5) to enable students to teach others about the event(s); 6) to enable students to use their increased knowledge and self-reflection individually and as part of the national dialogue; 7) to deepen and “complexify” the conversation on the bombings; 8) to develop supports for teachers and students throughout this process;” 9) to reintegrate the objective with the subjective, recognizing that emotion may be appropriate to some learning; 10) to instigate a dialogue allowing teachers and students to continue to investigate this and related topics. (shrink)
Ainu artists were invited to make “replicas” of traditional Ainu arts held in an important museum collection and describe their choices, process and results. The resulting Ainu aesthetics challenges—and changes—our understanding of aesthetics and the philosophy of art, on four levels: descriptive aesthetics, categorical aesthetics (the categories through which the Ainu understand aesthetic value), implications of these aesthetics for a variety of human activities such as museum practice and daily life, and the implications of the first three for our broader (...) understanding of aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Preliminary analysis of Ainu aesthetics suggests it is interested in it not only as the creation and appreciation of pleasure, but also as the creation and appreciation of meaning, of sacrality, of community, and of knowledge. These latter become especially important given the threats to Ainu culture presented first by incorporation into the Japanese polity and culture and then by modernization and commercialization. Ainu works of art, therefore, carry special significance as means of conveying to current and future generations not only the aesthetic experiences of the past, but their sacred relations, sense of community, and knowledge. This suggests new roles for arts and for museums as they strive to present the works in their full physicality to contemporary audiences, especially those of Ainu artists. (shrink)
Yasunari Kawabata’s 1952 novel The Sound of the Mountain is widely praised for its aesthetic qualities, from its adaptation of aesthetics from the Tale of Genji, through the beauty of its prose and the patterning of its images, to the references to arts and nature within the text. This article, by contrast, shows that Kawabata uses these features to demonstrate the effects of the mass trauma following the Second World War and the complicated grief it induced, on the psychology of (...) moral/ethical understanding, decision-making and action. The stream of consciousness traces the protagonist’s growing awareness of social changes and the ensuing difficulties of ethical decision-making. (shrink)