In the field of oral history, weaving of facts and mythologies has played an integral part of individual storyteller’s narrative. Especially when the oral history project revolves around trauma, the personal narratives often play against mainstream narratives, creating a tension and fragmentation within the overall narrative of the event. In this panel discussion, Professor Robert Jacobs of the Hiroshima Peace Institute and Mariko Nagai, Director of Research and Associate Professor of Japanese Literature and Creative Writing at Temple University Japan, will talk about memories and mythologies of Hibakusha woven out by multi-generations of radiation exposed communities, both in Japan and abroad, with a special focus on the ongoing narrative of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Associate Professor of Japanese Literature and Creative Writing at Temple University, Japan Campus
Born in Tokyo and raised in Europe and America, Mariko Nagai studied English/Creative Writing – Poetry at New York University. Her numerous honors include the Erich Maria Remarque Fellowship from New York University, fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Akademie Schloss Solitude, UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for the Arts, Yaddo, and the Writers Center of Norwich, to name a few. She has received the Pushcart Prizes both in poetry and fiction. Nagai is the author of Histories of Bodies: Poems (Red Hen Press, 2006), Georgic: Stories (BkMk/University of Missouri Kansas City Press, 2010), Dust of Eden (Albert Whitman & Co, 2014), Irradiated Cities (Les Figues, 2017), Julian, a Woman (forthcoming Strangers Press/ University of East Anglia, 2017) and Under the Broken Sky (forthcoming Christy Ottaviano Books/MacMillan, 2018). She is an Associate Professor of creative writing and Japanese Literature at Temple University, Japan Campus in Tokyo, where she is also the Director of Research.
Associate Professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University
Robert Jacobs is a historian of the social and cultural aspects of nuclear technologies. He is an Associate Professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University. He is the author of The Dragon’s Tail: Americans Face the Atomic Age (which has just been released in a Japanese language translation by Gaifusha), and the editor of Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future: Art and Popular Culture Respond to the Bomb, as well as many other articles on nuclear history.