Organized Panel Session
This transnational and interdisciplinary panel brings together four presentations that delve into the postwar politics of remembering and narrating Japanese military sexual violence in Asia and the Pacific. Scholars such as Chungmoo Choi have argued that studies on Japanese wartime sexual violence have often been used to promote patriarchal nationalism in previously colonized areas. This panel critically counters this patriarchal nationalist approach by offering a feminist and transnational analysis of the complex meanings and legacies of Japanese military sexual violence negotiated across the Pacific. Examining a diverse body of sources, from museums to theatre and manga, this panel offers a nuanced analysis of the making of postwar memories and narratives of Japanese military sexual violence.
This panel begins with Huei-yao Yao’s comparison of military brothels operated by the Japanese and the Kuomintang, which reveals the continuity from World War II to the Cold War in terms of militant masculinity. Next, Lin Li investigates feminist museums across East Asia to understand how the experience of war and trauma is reformulated for public audiences through the lens of gender and sexuality. Focusing on choreographic pieces, Elizabeth Son analyzes the embodied confluence of transpacific histories of violence, remembrance, and aesthetics. Lastly, Erik Ropers examines the representation of military sexual violence in Japanese manga since the end of WWII with a focus on the broader social context and discourse that gave rise to these works. Together, these four presentations bring new perspectives into the relationship between wartime sexual violence, historical memory and (trans)national politics.