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Jennifer M. Dixon on “Dark Pasts”

  • Posted by: Daniella Snyder
  • Posted Date: January 28, 2019
  • Filed Under: Library News

Please join us on Wednesday, February 6 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library for a Scholarship@Villanova talk featuring Jennifer M. Dixon, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Political Science. Dixon will give a talk about her new book titled, Dark Pasts: Changing the State’s Story in Turkey and Japan.

When and why do states change the stories they tell about dark pasts? Over the past two decades, as international expectations about truth-telling and accountability have grown, many states have been called on to recognize and apologize for historic wrongs. While some states have apologized for past crimes, others continue to silence, deny, and relativize dark pasts. In her new book, Dark Pasts, Jennifer Dixon investigates the sources of stability and change in states’ narratives of past atrocities, arguing that international pressures increase the likelihood of change in official narratives of dark pasts, while domestic considerations determine the content of such change. Drawing on an in-depth, macro-historical analysis of the post-World War II trajectories of Turkey’s narrative of the 1915-17 Armenian Genocide and Japan’s narrative of the 1937-8 Nanjing Massacre, the book unpacks the complex processes through which international pressures and domestic dynamics shape states’ narratives and the ways in which state actors negotiate between domestic and international demands in producing and maintaining such narratives.

This ACS approved event, which is co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of Political Science, the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies and the Center for Peace and Justice Education, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For additional information and personal research, please turn to subject librarian Merrill Stein’s course guide on genocide and mass killing and Director of Research Services Jutta Seibert’s course guide on The Holocaust in Eastern Europe.


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Last Modified: January 28, 2019