Online Event: Memory Wars

Aug. 12, 2020, 12:00-12:45pm (registration required)

Join the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) for an online expert discussion on the politics of memory surrounding World War II in Russia and China. 

On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirihito announced the surrender of Japan in World War II and the Allies celebrated victory. 75 years on, while the conflict continues to be commemorated by all of the Allied powers and to feature heavily in popular culture, it has come to occupy a central place in the contemporary politics of Russia and China, where the war has become a key feature of the respective ruling regimes’ legitimating narratives. This is not just about remembering the past--in both Russia and China, the story of the war has been exploited by the current leaders to fuel popular support and appeals to national identity, while academic freedom and scholarship on the war is limited. Both states have passed laws in recent years effectively banning criticism of the official version of the conflict’s history.

Two leading scholars on the role of historical memory in China and Russia--Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford University and the author of several books on the subject, including the forthcoming "China's Good War" with Harvard University Press, and Nikolay Koposov, Visiting Professor at Emory University and the author of "Memory Laws, Memory Wars" in addition to his multiple other works, join Seth Center, Director of CSIS’ History and Strategy Project and Wilson Center Fellow Katie Stallard-Blanchette for a discussion of the conflict’s relevance in contemporary Russian and Chinese politics.

Registration is required; information can be found on the event page.


Rana Mitter, professor of the history and politics of modern China; director of the University of Oxford China Centre

Nikolay Koposov, visiting fellow, Emory College

Katie Stallard-Blanchette, fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars