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2013 Symposium

The Politics of Representation:
Reflections on Controversial Issues in Museums and Related Places in Japan and Hawai‘i

November 1 – 2, 2013
Center for Korean Studies
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa 


This two-day symposium will feature presentations on challenging content on historical events and issues presented in museums, historic sites, cultural centers, and at a community festival.  It will include panelists from the National Museum of Japanese History and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum in Japan, as well as presenters from the Bishop Museum, ‘Iolani Palace, King Judiciary History Center, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (Pearl Harbor), Kapiolani Community College and West O‘ahu in Hawai‘i. 

Topics will cover two different representations of the Battle of Okinawa (in Japan and Hawai‘i), the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom, the Honouliuli internment camp, the transition from Hawaiian practices to Western law in the state judiciary system, the difficulties of offering critical perspectives of federal or local governments, and other issues.  Presenters will offer case studies on the development of exhibits including consultations with community leaders and organizations, selecting appropriate text and images, obtaining institutional approval, and the difficulties and implications of representing some issues and not others. 

A special keynote presentation will be delivered by Liz Sevcenko, Director of the Guantanamo Public Memory Project, at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University.  Ms. Sevcenko was the founding director of the International Coalition of Historic Sites of Conscience.

 Two-Day Symposium Schedule

Friday, November 1, 2013

Keynote Presentation

Friday, November 1, 2013


 Saturday, November 2, 1013

Co-Sponsors of Symposium and/or Keynote Speaker:  Museums Studies Graduate Certificate Program, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa; Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities; and the University of Hawai‘i Presidential Center Initiative.

More information to follow