Remembering Nanking: historical reconstructions and literary memorializations of the Nanking Massacre
ABSTRACT The Nanking Massacre is a historical event that invokes many contestations and tensions since the recollection of what took place in Nanking during the six weeks from December 1937 to February 1938 is always under the influence of political circumstances and ideologies. This paper explores the contemporary historical narratives and fictional representations of the Nanking Massacre to see how it has been remembered. The paper mainly addresses North American academic debates over the Nanking massacre, and analyzes three novels by immigrant Chinese American authors, Qi Shouhua’s When the Purple Mountain Burns, Ha Jin’s Nanjing Requiem, and Yan Geling’s The Flowers of War.
Keywords: The Nanking Massacre; war memories; Asian American Studies; Chinese American writers
Pin-chia Feng is Chair Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) and Research Fellow of the Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica. Currently she is the director of NCTU’s Asian American Studies Research Center. Feng was a recipient of the 2007, 2010, 2013 Outstanding Research Award of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the 2015 Academic Award of the Ministry of Education. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and writes on issues of gender, race, and representation in films as well as in Asian American, African American and Afro-Caribbean literatures.