Rewriting History in the Age of #MeToo
Lecture: Center for Japanese Studies | November 13 | 4-6 p.m. | 3335 Dwinelle Hall
Amy Stanley, Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University
The #MeToo movement is now over a year old, but over the past few weeks its stakes have become increasingly clear, not only in American culture and politics but also in many of our intellectual lives as historians. This talk considers how the rallying call believe women challenges our epistemology and might lead us to a different approach to our evidence. The sources are drawn from an early nineteenth-century Buddhist temple in rural Japan, but the problem they present is familiar to both historians and feminist activists: sexual assault often causes a rupture or fracturing of conventional narrative. What do we do with the silences and changing accounts? Which stories do we tell? And, ultimately, who do we believe?
Amy Stanley is an associate professor in the Department of History at Northwestern University, where she teaches Japanese and global history. Her publications include Selling Women: Prostitution, Markets, and the Household in Early Modern Japan (University of California Press, 2012) and articles in The American Historical Review, The Journal of Asian Studies, and The Journal of Japanese Studies. She is currently at work on a new book, Stranger in the Shoguns City: A Japanese Woman and Her Worlds, which is forthcoming from Scribner in 2020.
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