Alternate Histories: AAS 2022 Seeking Panelists

Michael Cronin's picture

Seeking additional presenters and/or discussant for a proposal for an in-person panel on Asian alternate histories at the Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, to be held March 24-27, 2022, in Honolulu.

Starting from a counterfactual premise (e.g., "What if the Axis powers had won World War II?"), alternate histories emphasize the contingent nature of past events and present conditions. Dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, the genre has grown enormously in the past decade, crossing over to other media, including comics, cinema, and animated films. Asian cultural production has played a significant role in this growth but is ignored by much English-language scholarship on the genre. We welcome proposals that examine any aspect of alternate histories produced in Asia in any medium, including the implications of reimagining or restaging historical events, the relationship between alternate and "real" histories, and questions of genre.

Confirmed participants:

Bruce Suttmeier, Lewis & Clark College, will present on Japanese alternate histories involving historians themselves, primarily Hata Ikuhiko.

Michael Cronin, William & Mary, will present on the work of Oshii Mamoru, including his alternate history novel Rolling Thunder, which deals with the US Civil War and the Vietnam War. 

If you are interested in joining the panel proposal, please contact me by Friday, July 30.

Michael Cronin
Associate Professor
College of William & Mary