Introduction to the forum on "nation, gender, and transcultural modernism in early twentieth-century China"
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Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, ISSN: 1673-7318, Vol: 8, Issue: 1, Page: 1-4
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- Arts and Humanities; Chinese Studies; East Asian Languages and Societies; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
This forum, sprouted from a thematic panel at the 2013 Annual Meeting of Association for Asian Studies in San Diego, situates its theoretical focus on the intersecting relationship between gender and nation in early twentieth-century China within a transcultural framework. Viewing both "gender" and "nation" as centrifugal sites for discursive production in modern China, the five contributors of this special issue probe into the complex cultural mechanism which placed gender at the center of the nationalist discourse. Reciprocally, the authors explore how the instability of both discourses on gender and nation opens up space for creating subversive cultural imaginaries and challenging colonial discourses. Anchoring the issue's focus on the immense creativity embedded in the intersecting discourses of gender and nation, the essays collectively draw attention to the critical and contested space of mediation between Western discourses and local tradition, between Orientalist representation and imperialist power, and between colonial hegemony and nationalistic resistance. It is often through this complex process of mediation that a nationalistic agency is constructed across a wide array of sometimes mutually contradictory global discourses.