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“Gender/ed Justice: Feminism in War and Peace”


“Gender/ed Justice: Feminism in War and Peace”

Barbara Molony, PhD, will consider Japanese suffragists and World War II Japan’s “comfort women.” Japanese feminists, including activists, writers, members of transnational peace movements, and others who emphasized women's inherent maternal goodness and opposition to gendered violence, had ambivalent or negative attitudes toward Japanese wartime aggression in Asia in the early 1930s. In the next decade, many came to accept their nation’s aggressive actions. Several well-known women accompanied Japanese troops as observers and morale builders in Japan’s Pen Squadron as writers and other producers of popular culture. Ichikawa Fusae and other political feminist activists went to the continent on their own. Although they claimed to be independent of the Japanese state and its military, they always benefited from the imperial privilege of Japanese military protection. To what extent could one argue that feminists failed to look deeply into the gendered violence of Japanese militarism in China (the “comfort women” system)? 

Moloney is co-president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and the Walter E. Schmidt, S.J., Professor of History at Santa Clara University. She has lectured extensively in North America and overseas. Her recent works include the coauthored or coedited volumes Engendering Transnational Transgressions: From the Intimate to the Global (2020), Women's Activism and "Second Wave" Feminism: Transnational Histories (2017), Asia's New Mothers: Crafting Gender Roles and Childcare Networks in East and Southeast Asian Societies (2008), and Gendering Modern Japanese History (2005), as well as numerous articles on Japanese women’s suffrage, the politics of dress, and transnational feminist movements. She is a coauthor of the textbooks Gender in Modern East Asia (2016), Civilizations Past and Present (2007) and Modern East Asia: An Integrated History (2012). She is completing a biography of Japan's leading suffragist, Ichikawa Fusae, and a co-edited volume, Oxford Handbook of East Asian Gender History.

The event is free and open to the public.


Sponsored By
The Department of History, the Alpha Xi Psi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and the Organization of American Historians


David Nelson