New Book: Feminisms with Chinese Characteristics

Ping Zhu and Hui Faye Xiao, eds. Feminisms with Chinese Characteristics.

Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2021. (Series: Gender and Globalization)

SAVE 50% now through December 31st with discount code 05Snow21.


The year 1995, when the Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing, marks a historical milestone in the development of the Chinese feminist movement. In the decades that followed, three distinct trends emerged: first, there was a rise in feminist NGOs in mainland China and a surfacing of LGBTQ movements; second, social and economic developments nurtured new female agency, creating a vibrant, women-oriented cultural milieu in China; third, in response to ethnocentric Western feminism, some Chinese feminist scholars and activists recuperated the legacies of socialist China’s state feminism and gender policies in a new millennium. These trends have brought Chinese women unprecedented choices, resources, opportunities, pitfalls, challenges, and even crises.

In this timely volume, Zhu and Xiao offer an examination of the ways in which Chinese feminist ideas have developed since the mid-1990s. By juxtaposing the plural “feminisms” with “Chinese characteristics,” they both underline the importance of integrating Chinese culture, history, and tradition in the discussions of Chinese feminisms, and, stress the difference between the plethora of contemporary Chinese feminisms and the singular state feminism.

The twelve chapters in this interdisciplinary collection address the theme of feminisms with Chinese characteristics from different perspectives rendered from lived experiences, historical reflections, theoretical ruminations, and cultural and sociopolitical critiques, painting a panoramic picture of Chinese feminisms in the age of globalization.


Feminisms with Chinese Characteristics: An Introduction

Ping Zhu and Hui Faye Xiao

Part One. Chinese Feminisms in the Age of Globalization

1. “Gender” Trouble

Feminism in China under the Impact of Western Theory and the Spatialization of Identity

Nicola Spakowski

2. Equality and Gender Equality with Chinese Characteristics

Li Xiaojiang

3. The Class Characteristics of China’s Women’s Liberation and Twenty-First-Century Feminism

Xueping Zhong

4. The Specter of Polygamy in Contemporary Chinese Gender Imaginations

An Interview with Dai Jinhua

Wu Haiyun

Part Two. Chinese Feminisms on the Ground

5. Feminist Struggles in a Changing China

Wang Zheng

6. Why Don’t Mainland Chinese Liberals Support Feminism?

Li Jun (aka Li Sipan)

7. The Formation of Chinese Feminist Linguistic Tactics and Discourse

Adapting The Vagina Monologues for Chinese Women

Ke Qianting

Part Three. Chinese Feminisms in Women’s Literature, Art, and Film

8. “Am I a Feminist?”

An Interview with Wang Anyi

Liu Jindong

9. Wang Anyi’s New Shanghai

Gender and Labor in Fu Ping

Ping Zhu

10. “I Am Fan Yusu”

Baomu Writing and Grassroots Feminism against the Postsocialist Patriarchy

Hui Faye Xiao

11. Over 1.5 Tons

Subversive Destruction and Counter-Monumentality to the Phallic Archetype

Shuqin Cui

12. Screen Feminisms with Hong Kong Characteristics

Gina Marchetti


About the Editors

Ping Zhu is associate professor of Chinese literature at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Gender and Subjectivities in Early Twentieth-Century Chinese Literature and Culture and the coeditor of Maoist Laughter.

Hui Faye Xiao is professor of Chinese literature at the University of Kansas. She is the author of Family Revolution: Marital Strife in Contemporary Chinese Literature and Visual Culture and Youth Economy, Crisis, and Reinvention in Twenty-First-Century China: Morning Sun in the Tiny Times.

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