Many critics have pointed out the constitutive role of the modern nation-state in the making of sexual identity and feminism. Among the most representative arguments are Ann Laura Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power, Race and Intimacy in Colonial Rule (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002); Nivedita Menon (ed.), Sexualities (London: Zed Books, 2008); M.J. Alexander and C.T. Mohanty, Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures (London: Routledge, 1997); Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, ‘Global Identities: Theorizing Transnational Studies of Sexuality’, GOQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 4 (2001), pp. 663–679. Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan are especially important because they promoted the term ‘transnational feminism’ successfully in their co-authored work, Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1994) and thus contributed to situating ‘women’ in a global context. For the feminist social critique heavily influenced by a global and post-colonial perspective, see Avtar Brah, ‘Global Mobilities, Local Predicaments: Globalization and the Critical Imagination’, Feminist Review 70 (2002), pp. 30–45; Tani Barlow, The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004); Afsaneh Najmabadi, Women with Moustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), among many. For the remarkable survey and critique on the global feminist activism and NGO (and on its neoliberal ethics), note Aihwa Ong, ‘Experiments with Freedom: Milieus of the Human’, American Literary History 2 (2006), pp. 229–244; Inderpal Grewal, Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005).
Aihwa Ong also provides valid views on the Asia Pacific zone as a national mechanism which makes more flexible and variegated degrees of citizenship. See Ong, Flexible Citizenship (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999). For studies on the global dynamics of discursive and identitarian regimes from the location of the Asia-Pacific zone, see Arif Dirlik, What Is in a Rim? (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998); Naoki Sakai, ‘Imperial Nationalism and the Comparative Perspective’, Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique 1 (2009), pp. 159–205; Naoki Sakai, Translation and Subjectivity (Minnesota University Press, 2008); Lydia Liu, The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006).
For the historical interactions and transformations of ‘women’ in terms of geopolitics and biopolitics, postmodern feminists’ insights are valuable. See Denise Riley, Am I that Name? Feminism and the Category of Women in History (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2003); Judith Butler, Undoing Gender (London: Routledge, 2004); Drucilla Cornell, Beyond Accommodation: Ethical Feminism, Deconstruction and the Law (London: Routledge, 1991); Wendy Brown, Politics Out of History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). In this regard, Giorgio Agamben is also relevant even if his argument is not exactly about women or feminism. See Homo sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998).
The studies on ‘comfort women’ from a transnational perspective are scarce; still, a lot of attempts have been done to push this issue beyond the limit of the nation-state. Ueno Chizuko and Hyunah Yang try to emancipate the (hi)story of comfort women from the official (male) narrative of national historiography. See Ueno Chizuko, ‘The Politics of Memory: Nation, Individual and Self’, History & Memory 2 (1999), pp. 129–152; Hyunah Yang, ‘Revisiting the Issue of the Korean “Military Comfort Women”: The Question of Truth and Positionality’, Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, 1 (1996), pp. 51–71. For the similar efforts to situate ‘Comfort Women’ in the terrain of global geopolitics, see Laura Hein, ‘Savage Irony: The Imaginative Power of the “Military Comfort Women” in the 1990s’, Gender & History 2 (1999), pp. 336–372; Kandice Chuh, ‘Discomforting Knowledge: Or, Korean “Comfort Women” and Asian Americanist Critical Practice’, Journal of Asian American Studies 1 (2003), pp. 5–23; Lisa Yonehama, ‘Traveling Memories, Contagious Justice: Americanization of Japanese War Crime at the End of the Post-Cold War’, Journal of Asian American Studies 1 (2003), pp. 57–93; Laura Hyun Yi Kang, ‘Conjuring “Comfort Women”: Mediated Affiliations and Disciplined Subject in Korean/American Transnationality’, Journal of Asian American Studies 1 (2003), pp. 25–55.