Organized Panel Session
This panel brings together four papers that trace a history of violence and injustice inflicted on women, focusing on how patriarchal hegemony and institutionalized gender inequality have shaped the production of memories of wars, representations of trauma, and curtailed voices within cultural discourse.
Junliang Huang and Junko Yamazaki’s papers both address the gender politics of literary and filmic depictions of wartime violence. Huang’s paper exposes the wartime sexual violence against women that breaks the incest taboo, and shows how only the wounds of the assaulted female body have remained irredeemable yet shameful in the two literary texts under examination. Focusing on the use of popular songs reminiscent of imperial romance in two early postwar Japanese films about unrequited love, Yamazaki’s paper reveals the gender politics of the affective afterlife of the war. The atomic bomb victim and prominent novelist Ōta Yōko’s insistence on wounds in remembering the war is the topic of Koji Toba’s paper. Toba shows how wounds allow Ōta to critique nationalism as trauma so as to address victims beyond ideological and national boundaries. By examining discursive moments of silencing the female voice in China, Megan Ferry’s paper offers a linguistic perspective on violence against women. Drawing on various archival transcripts within the literary field and contemporary research on pragmatic discourse, Ferry argues that in addition to the physical trauma inflicted upon female bodies under nationalism there is an equally intricate relationship between gender inequality and language that privileges the patriarchal hegemony of a nation.