The Channel, Season 1, EP. 34 - discussion, book talk

Reckoning with Historical Sexual Violence with Kate McGregor

On this episode, Kate McGregor joins for a discussion of so-called "comfort women" of Indonesia. McGregor's new book is Systemic Silencing: Activism, Memory and Sexual Violence in Indonesia, published in 2023 as part of the Critical Human Rights series at the University of Wisconsin Press. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Japanese military imposed a system of prostitution across East and Southeast Asia. Since the 1990s, survivors of the system, euphemistically called “comfort women,” have sought recognition of and redress for the sexual violence they endured. Systemic Silencing explores this history, its fallout, and ongoing activism of its survivors in the context of Indonesia. Kate McGregor is Professor in Southeast Asian History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. She specializes in Indonesian historiography, with particular interests in memories of violence, the Indonesian military, Islam, identity, and historical international links between Indonesia and the world.


CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains discussion of trauma and sexual violence that some listeners may find difficult.