In the three decades since Kim Hak-sun of South Korea first publicly identified herself as a former “comfort woman” of the Japanese Imperial Army, a global movement for long overdue justice has emerged, based on substantial survivor testimony and extant historical documents, of the existence of a regionally far-reaching imperial system of military sexual slavery. This discussion focuses on the recent firestorm around Harvard legal professor J. Mark Ramseyer’s denialist “research” as well as the remarkable transnational grassroots activism, including feminist scholarly and pedagogical initiatives, for reparative justice.
Sung Sohn - Co-founder and executive director, Education for Social Justice Foundation. A former bilingual resource and classroom teacher, she authored teacher and student resource guides on “Comfort Women” History and Issues (2018).
Alexis Dudden - Professor of History, University of Connecticut. Her books include Trouble Apologies (Columbia University Press, 2014), which interrogates the interplay between political apology and apologetic history among Japan, Korea, and the U.S, and Japan’s Colonization of Korea (University of Hawai‘i, 2006).
Jinah Kim - Associate Professor of Communication Studies and faculty affiliate in Asian Studies, California State University, Northridge. She is the author of Postcolonial Grief: The Afterlives of the Pacific Wars in the Americas (Duke University Press, 2019) and is a member of the Ending the Korean War Collective.
Kei Fischer - Chair of Ethnic Studies, Chabot College, Hayward, CA. She co-founded Eclipse Rising, a Bay Area-based community group dedicated to promoting the radical history of decolonization and transnational political engagement by Zainichi Koreans.
Presented by the UCSC Center for Racial Justice with co-sponsorship from the Korea Policy Institute