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Grant number like: FO-268629-20

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Ran Zwigenberg
Penn State (University Park, PA 16802-1503)

Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2021 – 6/30/2022

Nuclear Minds: Cold War Psychological Science and Hiroshima

Research and writing leading to a book on how mental health professionals and other researchers understood the psychological consequences of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This project examines the way mental health professionals in Japan, as well as those who studied hibakusha in the West, tackled the long term psychological consequences of the bomb. It places the various responses and clinical approaches taken in the stricken cities within the context of the larger history of trauma in Japan and elsewhere as well as the bigger historical responses of medicine to the threat and reality of nuclear weapons, tests and accidents. Coming out of a chapter I wrote for the Hiroshima book, this project looks, first, at how the A-bomb was understood within Japanese mental health circles and what these responses meant for the history of the survivor and peace movement in Hiroshima, especially in terms of the struggle for compensation and medical recognition in the fifties. Second, I examine the way mental health professionals planned to handle psychiatric effects in the event of a future nuclear attack and the connection of these studies with the history of trauma.