MINNEAPOLIS (April 10, 2018) — An “Embodied Reckonings” book talk and workshop with Dr. Elizabeth Son will be held noon to 4 p.m. Friday, April 13 inWest Bank Auditorium 20 of Wiley Hall at the University of Minnesota, 225 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455. Prof. Son will present her new book and her research on contemporary performance, activism, and the commemoration of WWII “comfort women.” The talk is free and open to the public.
Embodied Reckonings (2018, University of Michigan Press) 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 — protests, tribunals, theater, and memorial-building projects — to demand justice for those affected by state-sponsored acts of violence. The book provides a critical framework for understanding how actions designed to bring about redress can move from the political and legal aspects of this concept to its cultural and social possibilities.
Based on extensive archival and ethnographic research, the 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 legal and political understandings of redress that tend to concentrate on institutionalized forms of state-based remediation.
Graduate students and faculty/staff are invited to join Dr. Son for a workshop on academic writing and activism following the the book talk and workshop at 2:30 p.m.
The event is made possible by a grant from the Imagine Fund and is sponsored by the Asian American Studies department, Institute for Advanced Study Collaborative on Historical Injustices, Department of Theatre and Dance, Asian Languages and Literatures.