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CJS Noon Lecture ~ "The History of Yesterday: Japan from the Lehman Shock to the Aftermath of March 11"

Thursday, March 29, 2012
4:00 AM
Room 1636, School of Social Work Building, 1080 South University, Ann Arbor

Andrew D. Gordon is Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History at Harvard University. His research has focused on the history of labor-management relations, the politics of labor, and more recently the history of the middle class and consumption in 20th century Japan. His most recent book, "Fabricating Consumers: The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan," was published in fall, 2011 by University of California Press.
For Japan, the years from 2008 through 2011, beginning with an extraordinary economic shock and ending with an unprecedented compound disaster, will be remembered far into the future as unusually significant. It is too soon to make claims with certainty as to how this moment will be inscribed in a longer-term historical memory. It may come to be seen as a time of related turning points that set people’s thoughts and lives in new directions. It may come to be remembered as an era of events that mainly accelerated or deepened trends already underway. This talk, reflecting work in progress for a new final chapter of A Modern History of Japan, presents some preliminary thoughts on the significance of this unusual epoch of crisis.