Friday, November 27th, 2020 The "Skeleton in the Closet": Unveiling Submerged Histories in Contemporary Asia

Friday, November 27, 20204:00PM - 6:00PMOnline Event, Online Event


Which histories of Asia are remembered and which are forgotten? The process of remembering is selective, such that certain histories are granted the status of truth and highlighted in public dialogue, while others are forgotten or deliberately swept under the rug. This event seeks to unearth some examples of the latter to underscore the histories of marginalized groups and their lived experiences. In order to do so we are delighted to be joined by two experts:
Dr. Takashi Fujitani will discuss the issue of comfort women and how it ties into the transnational cover-up of Japanese war and colonial crimes.
Dr. Jessica Soedirgo will focus her discussion on the little known Ahmadiyah minority in Indonesia and why its members are being discriminated against today.

After their respective talks we will have a 45 minute Q&A session to address any queries and to facilitate dialogue between the speakers and audience members.

TAKASHI FUJITANI is the Dr. David Chu Professor and Director in Asia Pacific Studies. His research focuses especially on modern and contemporary Japanese history, East Asian history, Asian American history, and transnational history (primarily U.S./Japan and Asia Pacific). Much of his past and current research has centered on the intersections of nationalism, colonialism, war, memory, racism, ethnicity, and gender, as well as the disciplinary and area studies boundaries that have figured our ways of studying these issues. He is the author of Splendid Monarchy (UC Press, 1996; Japanese version, NHK Books, 1994; Korean translation, Yeesan Press, 2003) and Race for Empire: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Koreans in WWII (UC Press, 2011; Japanese version forthcoming from Iwanami Shoten); co-editor of Perilous Memories: The Asia Pacific War(s) (Duke U. Press, 2001); and editor of the series Asia Pacific Modern (UC Press).

JESSICA SOEDIRGO is a postdoctoral fellow in the Asian Studies Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Studies, Georgetown University. She will be starting as an Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam in April 2021. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto. Her research is motivated by an interest in ethnic and religious conflict, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. She primarily uses qualitative methods, grounded in extensive fieldwork. Her book project, The Threat of Small Things: Patterns of Repression and Mobilization Against Micro-Sized Groups in Indonesia, asks why very small groups become targets of state repression and mobilization despite their economic and political insignificance. Her work has been published in Citizenship Studies, Southeast Asia Research, Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, and PS: Political Science and Politics.


Deep Leekha
President of the Contemporary Asian Studies Student Union at the Asian Institute

Takashi Fujitani
Professor, Department of History, University of Toronto

Jessica Soedirgo
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Asian Studies Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Studies, Georgetown University

Main Sponsor

Asian Institute


Contemporary Asian Studies Student Union (CASSU)

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