Until the 1980s, a common narrative about women in China had been one of victimization: women had dutifully endured a patriarchal civilization for thousands of years, living cloistered, uneducated lives separate from the larger social and cultural world, until they were liberated by political upheavals in the twentieth century. Rich scholarship on gender in China has since complicated the picture of women in Chinese society, revealing the roles women have played as active agents in their families, businesses, and artistic communities. The essays in this collection go further by assessing the ways in which the study of gender has changed our understanding of Chinese history and showing how the study of gender in China challenges our assumptions about China, the past, and gender itself.
Table of contents:
AcknowledgmentsNote on TerminologyChronology Introduction Part One: Early Modern Evolutions1. Les Noces Chinoises / Ann Waltner2. The Control of Female Energies / Guotong Li3. Collecting Masculinity / Yulian Wu4. Writing Love / Weijing Lu Part Two: Cloistered Ladies to New Women5. Media-Savvy Gentlewomen of the 1870's and Beyond / Ellen Widmer6. The Fate of the Late Imperial Talented Woman / Joan Judge7. Moving to Shanghai / Yan Wang Part Three: Radicalism and Ruptures8. The Life of a Slogan / Emily Honig9. Bad Transmission / Gail Hershatter Glossary of Chinese CharactersBibliographyList of ContributorsIndex
Beverly Bossler is professor of history at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of is Courtesans, Concubines, and the Cult of Female Fidelity in China, 1000-1400 and Powerful Relations: Kinship, Status, and the State in Sung China (960-1279). Other contributors are Gail Hershatter, Emily Honig, Joan Judge, Guotong Li, Weijing Lu, Ann Waltner, Yan Wang, Ellen Widmer, and Yulian Wu.