Category Archives: Gender

New Handbook on Chinese Philosophy Methodologies

The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy Methodologies, edited by Sor-hoon Tan, is due to be published later this week. Details are here, and I’ll paste the very rich Table of Contents below. This is another in the Bloomsbury Research Handbooks in Asian Philosophy series, on which more is available here. So far, the only other title concerned with Chinese philosophy is The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender, edited by Ann-Pang White, which appeared earlier this year; see further below for its Table of Contents, and more details here. The series also contains several books focusing on the philosophies of India.

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Weingarten review of Dissertation on Motherhood in Early China

Oliver Weingarten’s review of Smadar Winter’s University of Chicago Ph.D. dissertation, “Motherhood in Early China,” is available online. A couple highlights (from the review, not the dissertation itself):

  • “…An example of her disagreement with earlier scholarship is her response to attempts by Catherine Despeux and Livia Kohn to highlight the “prominence of motherhood” in the Laozi 老子. Winter counters this claim with a well-conceived alternative reading that argues for the secondary importance of motherhood in the text.”
  • “…In her conclusion, Winter revisits debates about two paradigms in the gender history of early China: “woman as victim” and “woman as agent.” While she acknowledges the importance of the latter, she reminds her readers that “women’s agency was always defined in the service of male interests.” (p. 215) To acknowledge this is crucial so as to not to forget the “forms of oppression from which early Chinese women have suffered.” Consequently, Winter argues against “a neutral-to-positive tone which seems to be saying: Yes, there was oppression, but women were still able to lead meaningful lives and fulfill their humanity in the roles that subordinated them.” (p. 216)”