Remembering the Atomic Bombs: History, Memory and Politics in Australia, Japan and the Pacific

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 05:00 PM


Zoom webinar
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Google map and directions

Event contact

Margaret Birtley


This webinar was recorded and is freely available for online viewing and sharing:

An audio recording of this webinar was broadcast by ABC Radio National as a Big Ideas program on Monday 24 August 2020.

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945. In this webinar, three speakers will consider new findings about the Japanese experience and memory of the Atomic bombings, how Australia and Australians have been caught up in this atomic history, and the social and political legacies of the bomb in the Asia-Pacific region.

‘Hiroshima and Here’
presented by Professor Robin Gerster (Monash University), the author of Travels in Atomic Sunshine: Australia and the Occupation of Japan (2009) and Hiroshima and Here: Reflections on Australian Atomic Culture to be published by Lexington Books / Rowman & Littlefield in the US later this year.

'A Catholic Narrative out of Nagasaki: From Lament to Protest'
presented by Dr Gwyn McClelland (University of New England) who has worked closely with Nagasaki survivors and is the author of Dangerous Memory in Nagasaki: Prayers, Protests and Catholic Survivor Narratives (Routledge, 2019).

'Glowing Skies, Burning Sands: Nuclear Testing in the Pacific'
presented by Dimity Hawkins AM who is completing her PhD in history at Swinburne University examining resistance to nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific, particularly around independence in Fiji. She is also one of the co-founders of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

The discussion will be chaired by Professor Alistair Thomson of Monash University.

To register and receive the Zoom webinar link, please click the Send RSVP button at the foot of this page. 

Hiroshima 2019    Nagasaki 2008    

Setsuko Thurlow accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of ICAN in 2017; image courtesy ICAN     Robin Gerster's book cover - Hiroshima and Here (2020)

Images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki courtesy Gwyn McClelland.
Image of Setsuko Thurlow accepting the Nobel Peace Prize courtesy ICAN.
Image of Hiroshima and Here book cover courtesy Lexington Books.

This webinar is part of an ongoing seminar series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each seminar aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars are open, free of charge, to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society. Click HERE to learn about other events in the series.

We thank the series sponsors, Monash University Publishingthe Monash University History Program and the Old Treasury Building:

Monash University Publishing - some current titles         

Old Treasury Building                                      Monash University History Program

and the organising partners:

Old Treasury Building     Monash University History Program      HCV

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Image acknowledgements to go here.