Gender Politics in Modern China

Writing and Feminism

Gender Politics in Modern China

Book Pages: 320 Illustrations: Published: February 1994

Asian Studies > East Asia, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

Through the lens of modern Chinese literature, Gender Politics in Modern China explores the relationship between gender and modernity, notions of the feminine and masculine, and shifting arguments for gender equality in China.
Ranging from interviews with contemporary writers, to historical accounts of gendered writing in Taiwan and semi-colonial China, to close feminist readings of individual authors, these essays confront the degree to which textual stategies construct notions of gender. Among the specific themes discussed are: how femininity is produced in texts by allocating women to domestic space; the extent to which textual production lies at the base of a changing, historically specific code of the feminine; the extent to which women in modern Chinese societies are products of literary canons; the ways in which the historical processes of gendering have operated in Chinese modernity vis à vis modernity in the West; the representation of feminists as avengers and as westernized women; and the meager recognition of feminism as a serious intellectual current and a large body of theory.
Originally published as a special issue of Modern Chinese Literature (Spring & Fall 1988), this expanded book represents some of the most compelling new work in post-Mao feminist scholarship and will appeal to all those concerned with understanding a revitalized feminism in the Chinese context.

Contributors. Carolyn Brown, Ching-kiu Stephen Chan, Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang, Yu-shih Chen, Rey Chow, Randy Kaplan, Richard King, Wolfgang Kubin, Wendy Larson, Lydia Liu, Seung-Yeun Daisy Ng, Jon Solomon, Meng Yue, Wang Zheng


“An intelligent insight into the complexity of cross-cultural feminism. . . .” — Stephanie Donald , Women: A Cultural Review

"Among Western critical approaches, feminist criticism offers the most exciting promise, both for raising the level of critical analysis of Chinese texts, and for testing Western theories as they are applied cross-culturally. Gender Politics in Modern China provides convincing evidence of what can be done." — Yi-tsi Mei Feuerwerker, University of Michigan

"Theoretically informed and sophisticated, the essays in this volume relflect some of the most creative and intelligent readings of twentieth-century Chinese fiction being produced in a number of venues. Taken as a group, they illustrate the variety of ways in which gender has been deployed by modern Chinese writers as textual and political strategy." — Gail Hershatter, University of California, Santa Cruz


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword / Howard Goldblatt

Introduction / Tani E. Barlow

The Language of Despair: Ideological Representations of the "New Woman" by May Fourth Writers / Ching-kiu Stephen Chan

Invention and Intervention: The Female Tradition in Modern Chinese Literature / Lydia H. Liu

The End of "Funu Wenxue": Women's Literature from 1925 to 1935 / Wendy Larson

Woman as Trope: Gender and Power in Lu Xun's "Soap" / Carolyn T. Brown

Virtuous Transactions: A Reading of Three Short Stories by Ling Shuhua / Rey Chow

Images of Subjugation and Defiance: Female Characters in the Early Dramas of Tian Han / Randy Kaplan

Female Images and National Myth / Meng Yue

Writing with Your Body: Literature as a Wound--Remarks on the Poetry of Shu Ting / Wolfgang Kubin

Harmony and Equality: Notes on "Mimosa" and "Ark" / Chen Yu-shih

Three Interviews: Wang Anyi, Zhu Lin, Dai Qing / Wang Zheng

In the Translator's Eye: On the Significance of Zhu Lin / Richard King

Yuan Qiongqiong and the Rage for Eileen Zhang among Taiwan's Feminine Writers / Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang

Taking Tiger Mountain: Can Xue's Resistance and Cultural Critique / Jon Solomon

Feminism in the Chinese Context: Li Ang's The Butcher's Wife / Sheung-Yuen Daisy Ng

Political Evaluation and Reevaluation in Contemporary Chinese Fiction / Margaret H. Decker


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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1389-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1376-2
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