The Bright Flash of Peace: Hiroshima in the World, 1945-1995


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project is a history of commemoration of the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima in the context of the global development of Holocaust and WW II memory. Using the history of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park as a platform, it examines the role of architecture, psychiatry, emotions, tourism, economics, and politics to trace the process by which commemoration was used to normalize and domesticate the memory of the bombing. The bombing, it argues, was thought to have bequeathed Hiroshima’s victims with a global mission and importance. This was synchronous with, and influenced by, a similar view of the place of the victim/witness in Holocaust discourse. This dissertation traces the convergence of these discourses and the way the survivor was eventually elevated to be the ultimate bearer of moral authority.