Distinguished Professor Bruce Cumings signed a letter of support for Dr. Park Yuha and her book ‘Comfort Women of the Empire.’
Professor Bruce Cumings was a part of the list of signatories of distinguished officials and academics to come to the defense of Dr. Park Yuha in the unfair defamation ruling handed down by a South Korean high court regarding her academic work ‘Comfort Women of the Empire.’ Cumings is a historian of East Asian Studies, professor, author and lecturer. He is the former chair of the department of history at the University of Chicago.
Cumings is the recipient of the Kim Dae Jung Academic Award for Outstanding Achievements and Scholarly Contributions to Democracy, Human Rights and Peace awarded by South Korea. He was recognized for his “outstanding scholarship and engaged public activity regarding human rights and democratization during the decades of dictatorship in Korea, and after the dictatorship ended in 1987.”
Professor Cumings endorsed Dr. Park Yuha’s right to academic freedom, signing a petition to the South Korean high court which handed own a defamation suit for her work of ‘Comfort Women of the Empire.’
The text of the petition is as follows:
Dear the Judges in Korean Court;
My name is Bruce Cumings. I am an American historian of East Asia, professor in University of Chicago. I am specialized in modern Korean history and contemporary international relations. Some of my books including “The Origins of the Korean War” are well known in Korea.
I recently noticed that Professor Park, Yu-ha, author of <Comfort Women of the Empire> was accused by the Eastern Prosecution Office in Seoul.
I hereby express my great consternation and concern over the indictment over Professor Park Yu-ha for “defamation”. The indictment is unjust and improper, and I hope and trust that the prosecutor should withdraw it without delay, or if it is too late, I strongly ask you sentence her ‘Not Guilty’.
I also would like to declare that I am endorsing the statements addressed mainly by Japanese scholars in 26th November 2015. I am with them and Professor Park Yu-ha.
January 17, 2017
The endorsement of Professor Cumings, a renowned scholar on the contemporary history of the Koreas, shows that the work in Comfort Women of the Empire should be accepted by the global academic community, no matter how uncomfortable the truth of the matter may be for South Korea.