Professor of History Esselstrom will explore Japanese responses to the development of Chinese nuclear weapons in his full Professor Lecture "In the Shadow of Mao’s Mushroom Clouds: Japanese Reactions to Chinese Nuclear Weapons in the 1960s" on November 20 at 4:30 p.m. in Memorial Lounge, Waterman.
It is one of several topics featured in Professor Esselstrom’s recent book, That Distant Country Next Door: Popular Japanese Perceptions of Mao’s China. Insights revealed through newspaper editorials, intellectual journal essays, popular magazine features, public opinion surveys, and satirical comics demonstrate that popular Japanese reactions to Chinese nuclear weapons defied uniform categorization. The shadow of Mao’s mushroom clouds inspired everything from fear and frustration to anger and criticism to pride and hope in postwar Japanese society, in turn reflecting deeper patterns and themes in modern Japanese understandings of the Chinese world.
The event is free and open to the public.
Erik Esselstrom joined the UVM faculty in 2004 after earning his PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara. His primary interests in both research and teaching focus on modern political and cultural relations between Japan and China. Professor Esselstrom has worked collaboratively with Japanese, Chinese, and Korean scholars at the Institute for Research in Humanities of Kyoto University and in the College of Political Science and Economics at Waseda University in Tokyo. He has also taught and conducted research as a visiting scholar in the Graduate School of Law at Hitotsubashi University in Japan.
The College of Arts and Sciences Full Professor Lecture Series was designed to recognize faculty newly promoted to full professor rank.