Remnants of American Justice: Okinawa’s Transpacific Critique and the Post-1990s Redress Culture
The U.S.-led administering of post-conflict transitional justice in the aftermath of the Asia-Pacific War has not only rendered certain violences illegible, hence unredressable. It also left many colonial legacies intact. In Cold War Ruins: Transpacific Critique of American Justice and Japanese War Crimes (Duke University Press, 2016), Yoneyama argued that, much more than products of the East Asian state policies capitalizing on the anti-Japanese sentiments or the ethnonational identity politics of recognition in North America, the transnational efforts especially intensifying since the 1990s to bring justice to the victims of Japanese imperial violence must be seen as a trace of failed justice—in particular, the failure of decolonization—under the Cold War. Once read conjunctively across the seemingly discrepant national, gendered, racialized, (neo)colonial, and other geographies, the post-1990s redress culture reveals the disavowed history of violence, complicity, and other problematic Cold War legacies. Yoneyama will offer a transpacific critique of the memories of militarized violence and occupation in Okinawa to consider an alternative idea of justice that may move us beyond the ongoing Cold War knowledge production and its debilitating effects.
Lisa Yoneyama received her B.A. in German Language Studies and M.A. in International Relations at Sophia University, and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Stanford University. Her research has focused on the memory politics of war and colonialism, studies of gender and militarism, transnationalism, nuclearism, and the transpacific Cold War and post-Cold War U.S.-Asia relations. Yoneyama was a member of Literature Department, University of California, San Diego, 1992-2011, where she taught cultural studies, critical gender studies, and Asian and Asian American studies. She also served as Director for the Program for Japanese Studies (interim, 2008-09) and Critical Gender Studies (2009-2011). In 2011 Yoneyama moved to University of Toronto where she offers courses in the Department of East Asian Studies, Women and Gender Studies Institute, and Centre for the Study of the United States. Her book publications include: Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space and the Dialectics of Memory (University of California, 1999), a co-edited volume, Perilous Memories: Asia-Pacific War(s) (Duke University Press, 2001), Violence, War, Redress: Politics of Multiculturalism (published in Japanese, Iwanami Shoten, 2003), and Cold War Ruins: Transpacific Critique of American Justice and Japanese War Crimes (Duke University Press, 2016).