Despite their diverse histories and cultures, common tensions characterize debates about identity and nationhood across the Asia-Pacific. Homogenous visions of identity and nationhood sit uneasily alongside notions of citizenship that embrace cultural and ethnic diversity. In many societies, rising inequality feeds fear and resentment of immigrants, and legacies or memories of empire and colonialism have also fuelled resentment of foreign interference or ‘hegemony’. In stories of nationhood, what is forgotten or avoided is just as important as what is remembered.
What role, then, does education play in shaping ideas of identity and nationhood across the contemporary Asia-Pacific? To what extent are citizens taught to see political identity as something diverse and complex, and what are the implications of different approaches to citizenship education? And, should we see education as a potential tool for promoting national reconciliation, or as a dangerous weapon for inciting hatred and division?
Professor Tzu-Bin Lin (Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs, National Taiwan Normal University)
Professor Edward Vickers (Professor of Comparative Education, Kyushu University)
Professor Kaori Okano (Professor of Japanese Studies/Asian Studies, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, La Trobe University)
Dr Bec Strating (La Trobe Asia, La Trobe University)
A joint La Trobe University/Kyushu University event.
Recorded live via zoom on 9 September, 2020.