Media, Erotics, and Transnational Asia

Media, Erotics, and Transnational Asia

Book Pages: 392 Illustrations: 25 illustrations, 1 table Published: February 2013

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Asian Studies, Cultural Studies

Drawing on methods and approaches from anthropology, media studies, film theory, and cultural studies, the contributors to Media, Erotics, and Transnational Asia examine how mediated eroticism and sexuality circulating across Asia and Asian diasporas both reflect and shape the social practices of their producers and consumers. The essays in this volume cover a wide geographic and thematic range, and combine rigorous textual analysis with empirical research into the production, circulation, and consumption of various forms of media.

Judith Farquhar examines how health magazines serve as sources of both medical information and erotic titillation to readers in urban China. Tom Boellstorff analyzes how queer zines produced in Indonesia construct the relationship between same-sex desire and citizenship. Purnima Mankekar examines the rearticulation of commodity affect, erotics, and nation on Indian television. Louisa Schein describes how portrayals of Hmong women in videos shot in Laos create desires for the homeland among viewers in the diaspora. Taken together, the essays offer fresh insights into research on gender, erotics, media, and Asia transnationally conceived.

Contributors. Anne Allison, Tom Boellstorff, Nicole Constable, Heather Dell, Judith Farquhar, Sarah L. Friedman, Martin F. Manalansan IV, Purnima Mankekar, Louisa Schein, Everett Yuehong Zhang


"[T]his is . . . a highly inspiring collection. In particular, its critically and empirically grounded approach makes Media, Erotics, and  Transnational Asia a welcome addition to cultural research on transnational Asia. This book can be recommended to any scholars and students interested in the cultural aspects of contemporary Asia." — Kyong Yoon, Pacific Affairs

"[A] useful point of reference, both theoretically and methodologically, for a broad audience, from those with particular interests in sexuality, gender, media, and translocality in Asia, to those with a general interest in the anthropology of gender and/or cultural studies in Asia." — Yuqin Huang, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology

"Media, Erotics, and Transnational Asia brings together interdisciplinary anthropological essays to stress that Asia is not simply a bounded region; it is a constellation of spaces that changes along with the circulation of ideas, knowledge, and cultures through media forms such as film, TV, zines, popular health guidebooks, and magazines." — Xiaofei Kang, Signs

"Edited by two leading anthropologists, this volume promises much and delivers. The geographic spread, including China, Laos, Vietnam, India, Japan, Indonesia, and their diasporas, and the variety of media—from zines to manga and from Bollywood to Internet chat rooms to television—suggest this book should attract a broad audience." — Kath Weston, author of Traveling Light: On the Road with America's Poor

"Poised at the intersection of Asian studies, media studies, and sexuality studies, Media, Erotics, and Transnational Asia recasts those fields. The book is an outstanding selection for any course focusing on globalization or sexual modernity." — Ara Wilson, author of The Intimate Economies of Bangkok: Tomboys, Tycoons, and Avon Ladies in the Global City


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Purnima Mankekar is Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of Screening Culture, Viewing Politics: An Ethnography of Television, Womanhood, and Nation in Postcolonial India, also published by Duke University Press.

Louisa Schein is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She is the author of Minority Rules: The Miao and the Feminine in China’s Cultural Politics, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Introduction. Mediations and Transmediations: Erotics, Sociality, and "Asia" / Purnima Mankekar and Louisa Schein 1

1. Wayward Erotics: Mediating Queer Diasporic Return / Martin F. Manalansan IV 33

2. For Your Reading Pleasure: Self-Health (Ziwo Baojian) Information in Beijing in the 1990s / Judith Farquhar 53

3. Zines and Zones of Desire: Mass-Mediated Love, National Romance, and Sexual Citizenship in Gay Indonesia / Tom Boellstorff 75

4. Correspondence Marriages, Imagined Virtual Communities, and Countererotics on the Internet / Nicole Constable 111

5. Flows between the Media and the Clinic: Desiring Production and Social Production in Urban Beijing / Everett Yuehong Zhang 139

6. Dangerous Desires: Erotics, Public Culture, and Identity in Late Twentieth-Century India / Purnima Mankekar 173

7. Homeland Beauty: Transnational Longing and Hmong American Video / Louisa Schein 203

8. Another Kind of Love? Debating Homosexuality and Same-Sex Intimacy through Taiwanese and Chinese Film Reception / Sara L. Friedman 233

9. Born under Western Eyes: The Politics and Erotics of the Documentary Gaze in Born into Brothels / Heather Dell 267

10. American Geishas and Oriental/ist Fantasies / Anne Allison 297

References 323

Contributors 357

Index 359
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4577-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4559-6
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