Embodied Reckonings: "Comfort Women," Performance, and Transpacific Redress

TitleEmbodied Reckonings: "Comfort Women," Performance, and Transpacific Redress
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSon, Elisabeth
Number of Pages267
PublisherMichigan State University Press
CityAnn Arbor, MI

Embodied Reckonings examines the political and cultural aspects of contemporary performances that have grappled with the history of the “comfort women,” the Japanese military’s euphemism for the sexual enslavement of girls and young women—mostly Korean—in the years before and during World War II. Long silent, in the early 1990s these women and their supporters initiated varied performance practices to demand justice for those affected by state-sponsored violence. This study argues for the central role of performance in how Korean survivors, activists, and artists have redressed the histories and erasures of this sexual violence. Merging cultural studies and performance theory with a transnational, feminist analysis, the book illuminates the actions of ordinary people, thus offering ways of reconceptualizing understandings of redress that tend to concentrate on institutionalized forms of state-based remediation.

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