NEW PALTZ — “A Man Who Might Have Existed: E. Herbert Norman,” a 95-minute documentary film for which Roger W. Bowen, president of the State University of New York, served as principal consultant, premiered at the Montreal Film Festival earlier this month. The film will have its U.S. premiere when it is shown at the New York Conference on Asian Studies in mid-October at SUNY New Paltz.
E. Herbert Norman (1909-1957) was a Canadian Asiansist who was victimized by the McCarthy hearings. He was the author of Japan’s Emergence as a Modern State and a prominent scholar of late 19th century Japan.
As the author of Innocence is not Enough: the Life and Death of E. Herbert Norman (M.E. Sharpe, 1988) and the editor of E.H. Norman: His Life and Scholarship (University of Toronto Press), Bowen played an important role in making certain the film was true to Norman’s life.
Bowen is a political scientist whose primary research is related to Japan. Since 1981, he has been an associate in research at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University.
Recently, Bowen was asked to review the book, Japanese Democracy: Power, Coordination, and Performance, by Bradley Richardson (Yale University Press) for Pacific Affairs. The review appears in the current (Summer 1998) issue of the publication.
Earlier this month, he was a panel discussant at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Associations in Boston. The panel, “E. Herbert Norman: Security Risk or Victim of McCarthyism” was sponsored by the Japan Political Studies Group.