Comfort Women Book Talk Flyer March 20 2021

On Saturday, March 20, 2021, we hosted a virtual book talk for the recent publication of Korean "Comfort Women": Military Brothels, Brutality, and the Redress Movement by Pyong Gap Min, the director of our research center and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center of CUNY. This important monograph was published by Rutgers University Press, and it is available in paperback, hardcover, and E-Book.

This book is significant because it is the only English-language book that examines both the "comfort women" issue and the redress movement for the victims of Japanese military sexual slavery comprehensively. It examines not only their forced mobilization to and brutal experiences at Japanese military brothels, but also their post-war hardships in returning home and their suffering in Korea for a half century. It also covers the redress movement in Korea, Japan, and the United States in detail. This book is also important because it is related to several social science disciplines. 

This event was co-hosted by RCKC and Open Forum Korea and sponsored by The Research Foundation for Korean Community (RFKC), the Korean American Association of Greater New York (KAAGNY), and the National Unification Advisory Council, New York Chapter.

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March 27, 2021 - Virtual Film Screening of "Jeronimo"

Jeronimo Film Poster

 

On Saturday, March 27, 2021, we hosted an online screening of the documentary film Jeronimo, directed by Joseph Juhn. This film recounts the story of Jeronimo Lim Kim, a Cuban-Korean who fought in the Cuban Revolution and crossed paths with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara before turning to his Korean roots and making great efforts to locate Cubans of Korean descent and create a supportive Korean-Cuban community. The 90-minute film was followed by a Q & A session with the director. The screening and Q & A was held through Zoom. We would like to thank the director Joseph Juhn and everyone who participated.

Book Cover Image Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Min Chung Yim

 

It is with great pleasure that we announce the long-awaited publication of our edited volume on the "comfort women" issue and the redress movement. The full title of the book is Japanese Military Sexual Slavery: The Transnational Redress Movement for the Victims, and it is part of DeGruyter Books' "Genocide and Mass Violence in the Age of Extremes." The book was co-edited by RCKC staff members Pyong Gap Min, Thomas R. Chung, and Sejung Sage Yim.

We are also very happy that this volume is available as a free, open-access E-book/E-Pub, which means that it is accessible to everyone free of charge.
Having this E-book be free and accessible to everyone in order to spread awareness about this important and under-studied issue was very important to us, as well as to Frank Jacob, the series editor of the "Genocide and Mass Violence" book series at DeGruyter.

Click here to access the E-Book via the Google Play reader

DeGruyter has also published a hardcover hard copy of the book, which is available now. The paperback will be available in February 2021. The hardcover and open-access free E-book are both available on DeGruyter's website:

Click here to visit the DeGruyter website

Please enjoy the E-book (which is downloadable as a PDF) and publicize and share it widely with your friends, family, colleagues, and entire social network.

We would like to thank all of the scholars and activists who wrote and revised excellent chapters for the book, and who have devoted so much of their time and energy to conducting research, organizing social movements, and spreading awareness of the "comfort women" issue in the name of achieving justice. In addition, we would also like to express special thanks to Frank Jacob, Rabea Rittgerodt, and Anett Rehner of DeGruyter Books for their important roles in getting this book published, as well as for their meticulous attention to detail.

The staff members at The Research Center for Korean Community (all of whom are working remotely) hope that you are all staying safe and healthy during this scary and disruptive COVID-19 pandemic.

Group Photo RCKC Conference 2019

On Friday, October 25, 2019, the Research Center for Korean Community (RCKC) held its 9th academic conference, "Korean Americans' Transnational Ties to the Homeland." Scholars and activists from around the United States as well as one scholar from Kazakhstan (Professor Natalya Yem of Al Farabi Kazakh National University) submitted papers and gave presentations. The conference took place at the James Muyskens Conference Room at Queens College.

 

On Thursday, September 26, 2019, there was a film screening of "Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of the Comfort Women Issue" at the Queens College Patio Room (inside the student dining hall). The director, Miki Dezaki, talked before and after the screening about his documentary film, which uses the controversial "comfort women" issue as a case study for historical revisionism. The film is approximately 2 hours long. This event was co-sponsored by the Research Center for Korean Community (RCKC), the Asian/American Center, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding (CERRU), all of which are affiliated with Queens College. Approximately 100 people attended the screening.

The “comfort women” issue is one of Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandaries. In Japan, the issue has divided the country across clear ideological lines. Some of the issues in question include empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery, and the definition of coercive recruitment. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world. This film, which is based on the producer’s 30 personal interviews with Japanese neo-nationalist denialists and another 30 interviews with supporters of the redress movement, delves deep into the most contentious debates and uncovers the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of “comfort women.” Most important, it finds answers to some of the biggest questions for Japanese and Koreans: Were “comfort women” prostitutes or sex slaves? Were they coercively recruited? And, does Japan have a legal responsibility to apologize to the former “comfort women?”

 

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