The Cold War Studies is finally moving beyond the US-Soviet focus, but what can and should the Asian Studies do to push it further? This roundtable will bring together Cold War Studies scholars and Asian Studies scholars to discuss new approaches to the role of “Asia” in the Cold War. If, as critics such as Nick Cullather have pointed out, the American perception of “Asia” shaped U.S. strategies, how did Asian intellectuals and strategists participated in (or challenge) such knowledge construction, and for what purposes? What new questions can Asianists raise about the Cold War by taking Asia’s colonial past and post-colonial domestic politics more seriously in studying Cold War knowledge production and cultural/public diplomacy? Three Asianists and two Americanists specializing in the Cold War era will present responses to these questions.
We are proposing this roundtable in conjunction with a transnational book project, Public Diplomacy of Knowledge: The Cold War and “Asia”. This is an ongoing collaboration among Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese, and American scholars (led by Tsuchiya and Kobayashi) to explore new dimensions of the construction of Area Studies, science & technology, journalism, and military civic activities during the Cold War period. Having this roundtable at AAS will enable us to engage with non-chapter writer specialist (Cullather, Chair of this roundtable) and wider audience than what we would have in Japan. Such discussion will not only enrich our multi-language publication project (Japanese, Chinese, and English) but also contribute to the ongoing scholarly discussions of Cultural Cold War, and open up further collaborative possibilities for Asian Studies and Cold War Studies scholars.
The roundtable will consist of mini-presentations by five of the chapter writers: Tsuchiya on the overall book project; Mizuno on radiation rice breeding in Asia; Kobayashi on the establishment of the Korean Studies in the US; Moon on the origin of engineering of Korea; Fujioka on U.S. and Japanese scholars’ interaction in the construction of modernization theory, followed by U.S. historian Nick Cullather’s response, leaving ample time (aiming at 30 minutes) for the open-floor discussion.