The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory

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Lydia He Liu, Rebecca E. Karl, Dorothy Ko
Columbia University Press, 2013 - Social Science - 308 pages
"He-Yin Zhen (1886-1920) was a female theorist who played a central role in the birth of Chinese feminism. Editor of a prominent feminist-anarchist journal in the early twentieth century and exponent of a particularly incisive analysis of China and the world. Unlike her contemporaries, He-Yin Zhen was concerned less with China's fate as a nation and more with the relationship among patriarchy, imperialism, capitalism, and gender subjugation as global and transhistorical problems. Her bold writings were considered radical and dangerous in her lifetime and gradually have been erased from the historical record. This volume, the first translation and study of He-Yin's work in English or Chinese, is also a critical reconstruction of early twentieth-century Chinese feminist thought in a transnational context. The book repositions He-Yin Zhen as central to the development of feminism in China, juxtaposing her writing with fresh translations of works by two of her better-known male interlocutors. The editors begin with a detailed portrait of He-Yin Zhen's life and an analysis of her thought in comparative terms. They then present annotated translations of six of her major essays, as well as two foundational tracts by her male contemporaries, Jin Tianhe (1873-1947) and Liang Qichao (1873-1929), to which He-Yin's work responds and with which it engages. Jin Tianhe, a poet and educator, and Liang Qichao, a philosopher and journalist, understood feminism as a paternalistic cause that "enlightened" male intellectuals like themselves should defend. Zhen counters with an alternative conception of feminism that draws upon anarchism and other radical trends in thought. Ahead of her time within the context of both modernizing China and global feminism, He-Yin Zhen complicates traditional accounts of women and modern history, offering original perspectives on sex, gender, labor, and power that continue to be relevant to feminist theorists in China, Europe, and America."--Publisher's website.
 

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Contents

Chinese Feminist Worlds
27
heyin Zhen
53
On the Question of Womens Labor
72
Economic Revolution and Womens Revolution
92
On the Revenge of Women
105
On Feminist Antimilitarism
169
liang Qichao
189
JinTianhe
205
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About the author (2013)

Lydia H. Liu is Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University and codirector of the Center for Translingual and Transcultural Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. She is the author of The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making and, more recently, The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious.



Rebecca E. Karl is associate professor of history at New York University. She is the author of Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History and Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.



Dorothy Ko, a native of Hong Kong, is professor of history at Barnard College. She is a coeditor of Women and Confucian Cultures in Pre-modern China, Korea, and Japan and the author of Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth-Century China and Cinderella's Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding.

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