Representation and Restoration of Women's Experiences: Navigating Between Colonial History and Postcolonial Present in the Asian Context

Friday, July 18, 2014: 10:30 AM-12:20 PM
Room: 501
RC38 Biography and Society (host committee)
RC32 Women in Society

Language: English

This session aims to explore and restore the multilayered aspects of women’s experiences in postcolonial history in the Asian context. Based upon women’s biographies and oral life histories, this session will analyze how women negotiate the boundaries between state, nation, class, and gender, and examine how researchers can historicize them. Not only feminist theoretical approaches to hidden personal life histories, but also critical methods to hear, understand, and speak to the ‘historical other’ will be considered throughout the whole session. Since the 1990s when the testimonies of former comfort women drafted into the Japanese military forces during WWII garnered worldwide interests, there has been a great deal of research emerging in the field of women’s oral life history, especially in the East Asian countries. Since then, biographies of women, social minorities, or ordinary people have enabled many social scientists to rethink the meaning of History, Science, Reality, and/or Truth and have led to a growing interest in the unwritten, silenced experiences of people. Presenters in this session will pay attention to women who have experienced war, poverty, and gender violence; argue that women are not just powerless victims of history but active agents navigating the boundaries between structures and ideologies; and question our normative understanding of history, politics, and society. As such, this session will shed light on the theoretical and methodological implications of women’s oral life history with regard to the representation and restoration of women’s experiences in post-colonial Asia.
Session Organizers:
Hee-Young YI, Daegu University, South Korea, Gabriele ROSENTHAL, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany and Bandana PURKAYASTHA, University of Connecticut, USA
Victoria SEMENOVA, professor, Russia
Donna KING, University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA
Can We Hear Subaltern Woman's Experiences?: Im/Possibility of Representation in Postcolonial Context of South Korea (Oral Presentation)
Na-Young LEE, Chung-Ang University, South Korea; Jae Kyung LEE, Ewha Womans University, South Korea

How to Historicize the Invisible and Inaudible Women's Experiences? : Thesaurus Construction of Women's Oral History and Gender Politics (Oral Presentation)
Yoon Kyung CHOI, Ewha Womans University, South Korea; Young Ju CHO, Korean Division-Post division Center, Dongguk University, South Korea

Re-Articulation on Japanese ‘Comfort Women' Survivors' Experiences (Oral Presentation)
Naoko KINOSHITA, Kyushu University, Japan

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