University of Pittsburgh
October 30, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 31 - The legacy of WWII and its continuing

relevance for the defeated nations, Germany and Japan, will be explored in depth in a conference entitled, War Defeat and Memory: The Debate on National Identity in Post-War Germany and Japan, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4, at the University of Pittsburgh.

Given the divergent paths that the Japanese and Germans have traveled the past 50 years, this conference will provide a unique forum to compare and contrast how these two nations have dealt with the issues relating to collective memory through literature, art, and theater.

Hosted by Pitt's Center for West European Studies, the University's Asian Studies Program, Penn State University, and Chatham College, the conference will include panel discussions, the screening of Marcel Ophuls' classic documentary film, Memory of Justice, and the staging of the award winning play, Tokyo Notes, by Japanese playwright Hirata Oriza, on Saturday evening.

Following registration, the conference kicks off at 1:35 p.m. on Friday with the screening of Memory of Justice at the Carnegie Museum of Art, a film which examines German war crimes and the Nuremberg Trials.

Saturday's activities begin with a 9:30 a.m. panel discussion around the theme Constructing Postwar Identity in Germany and Japan. The second panel discussion begins at 1 p.m. and examines Literature and Theatre as Counter-Memory from Japan and Germany. All Saturday panel discussions will be held at the University of Pittsburgh's main campus, 2P56 Posvar Hall.

The concluding event is the performance of Tokyo Notes at Chatham College's Eddy Theater. The play received the coveted Kishida Drama Award for Hirata, founder of the Seinen-dan Theatre Company.

Saturday panels are free and open to the public. A $40 registration fee ($20 for students with valid I.D.) includes all events plus dinner on Friday, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. A la carte tickets for the film and play also are available.

Co-sponsors of the conference are: the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; the Department of Sociology; the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures; the College and Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh; the Pennsylvania State University's College of Liberal Arts, Comparative Literature Department, East Asian Studies Program, and Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures; and Chatham College.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Education (Title VI), Toshiba International Foundation, The Japan Foundation, The Japan Council of the University of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art are providing funding for the conference.

For more information or to view and register for panels, call (412) 648-7736 or check the website,

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