Yeon Jeong Gu is a Harry & Helen Gray/AICGS Reconciliation Fellow in August and September 2016. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for German Language, Literature and Culture at Seoul National University, focusing on German culture and literature in the twentieth century, especially remembrance literature of post-memory generation, urban renewal projects in Germany after reunification, and post human culture.
At AICGS, she will address the question of how to remember the traumatic past seventy years after the end of World War II. Some argue it cannot be discussed any more, as the legal prescription on the war crime has already expired. But it has to be considered that these tragic cases caused trauma to the witness in retrospect, and this traumatic experience can be transferred to the next generations through the family and cultural learning. In this respect, she will compare Japanese memorial culture in its post-war generation, which often works with screen memory, with the one of Germany, which still shows moral responsibility for its countries’ previous war crimes. She will compare the Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots in Chiran and the Topography of Terror in Berlin. Ultimately, she suggests that the moral responsibility which can be embodied through the German memory work can be a model for the reconciliation in Northeast Asia.