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Harvard Law Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen Discusses Fellow Professor Ramseyer's 'Comfort Women' Piece Updated: 2021-03-01 14:15:57 KST

A recent academic journal article by a Harvard law professor, J. Mark Ramseyer, in which he describes the Korean and other women forced to sexual enslavement by the Japanese military leading up to and during World War II had willingly entered into indenture contracts, has prompted an outcry among students and scholars all across the world.
In the realm of the academia, an international chorus of scholars across the United States, Australia, Europe, and Asia called for the article to be retracted from the International Review of Law and Economics to be retracted - and that includes not only historians but economists and prominent game theorists.

Jeannie Suk Gersen, a tenured Harvard law professor, contributed the most comprehensive piece to date on the entire situation based on her own analysis, investigation and correspondence with Professor Ramseyer himself.
We have Professor Suk Gersen joining us live.

Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, thank you for joining us.

First of all, what initiated you to pen this piece on the New Yorker?

As you just mentioned, there are various aspects of Professor Ramseyer's article that outright ignores decades of historical evidence compiled by evidence and research compiled by Korean and Japanese historians, but from a legal perspective, is this a legitimate or an acceptable legal paper?

Not only from you, but his fellow professors at Harvard, Carter Eckert and Andrew Gordon, issued a statement early on. When I got in touch with Professor Eckert, he directed me to this statement. What is their review of Professor Ramseyer's paper

Now, this is not an article written by a college freshmen, for instance Professor Ramseyer is an academic, a professor of one of, if not the most recognized academic institution in the world. In your New Yorker piece, as a fellow professor at Harvard law, you two do know each other and that you have spoken with him on this matter. What is his response to the whole controversy?

Professor Suk Gersen, despite the outcry pouring in by students and scholars from all across the globe and of course, from professors at Harvard including yourself, of course, Harvard itself remains silent.
Do you think it's important for Harvard to step up and issue a statement of some sort and do you think there will be one?

Jeannie Suk Gersen, Professor of Law at Harvard Law, many thanks for your speaking with us and speaking up on this issue. Your academic integrity and moral responsibility is much appreciated. Thank you.
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