Prof. Sarah Kovner has been selected as a 2012 Henry Chauncey Postdoctoral Fellow in International Security Studies (ISS) at Yale University. She prepared her proposal with support from the spring 2011 grant-writing and proposal review activities provided by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. At Yale, Prof. Kovner will work on her new book project, “Prisoners of the Empire: POWs and their Captors in the Pacific,” under contract with Harvard University Press. She aims to illuminate how fighting the Japanese contributed to the recasting of the Geneva Conventions, a series of international treaties mandating protections for prisoners, casualties, and civilians in times of war. Significantly revised in the wake of World War II at the Fourth Geneva Convention, which concluded in 1949, the Geneva Conventions, as well as subsequent protocols which the U.S. has signed but not ratified, have been crucial in current debates about how the U.S. treats its captives and determines their legal rights.
Prof. Kovner’s recent book, Occupying Power: Sex Workers and Servicemen in Postwar Japan (2012) (http://www.sarahkovner.com/book), provides a clear and cogent study of the intricate politics of prostitution during the Allied occupation. Drawing on extensive archival research in several countries, Kovner’s book is of interest to anyone with an interest in modern Japan, the history of gender and sexuality, or comparative studies of military occupations.
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