The event is jointly sponsored by the Japan Program at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.
In this talk, David Leheny (Waseda University) discusses his new book Empire of Hope (Cornell University Press, 2018), which challenges current trends in debates about emotion and politics, arguing that we should instead look at the role of narrative in shaping emotional representation. In the book, Leheny draws from debates about status in international relations theory and from debates about affect and narrative in literary and historical studies to analyze cases from Japan’s Bubble and post-Bubble eras. This talk will focus especially on a 2001 crisis in US-Japan relations over a collision between a US Navy nuclear submarine and a fisheries training boat that resulted in the deaths of nine Japanese, including four high-school students. By presenting grief as both a national emotion and as one that could be narrated through the lens of timeless cultural difference, the US and Japanese governments crafted a crisis resolution that ostensibly rested on “mutual understanding” but that also hid the messier realities of power and of loss in the collision’s aftermath.