Engendering the Woman Question: Men, Women, and Writing in China’s Early Periodical Press


In Engendering the Woman Question, Zhang Yun adopts a new approach to examining the early Chinese women’s periodical press. Rather than seeing this new print and publishing genre as a gendered site coded as either “feminine” or “masculine,” this book approaches it as a mixed-gender public space where both men and women were intellectually active and involved in dynamic interactions to determine the contours of their discursive encounters.

Drawing upon a variety of novel textual modes such as polemical essays, historical biography, public speech, and expository essays, this book opens a window onto men’s and women’s gender-specific approaches to a series of prominent topics central to the Chinese woman question in the early twentieth century.

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Zhang Yun, Ph.D. (2015), The University of Hong Kong, is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Humanities at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She has published articles and translations on women’s and gender history and Chinese literary and print culture.
List of Figures


1 Articulating the Woman Question: Women’s Literary Heritage, Education, and the Nation
1 The Mixed-Gender Public Space in Nü xuebao
2 Debates on the Cainü Legacy
3 Asserting Intellectual Authority in the Public Space
4 Ambivalence: a Debate of Linguistic Registers
5 Conclusion

2 Nationalism and Beyond: Nüjie and the Construction of a New Gendered Collective Identity
1 The Cure for the Nation: Mobilizing Nüjie
2 A Nüjie of Their Own
3 Beyond Nationalism: Demanding a Revolution in Nüjie
4 Conclusion

3 The Manchu Woman Commits Suicide: Ethnicity and the Composition of the New Chinese Woman
1 A Sacrificial Martyr for a National Cause
2 Making a Manchu Heroine
3 Ethnicity and Gender: Manchu Women’s Envisioning of Modern Womanhood
4 Conclusion

4 Fashioning Hygienic Womanhood: Women’s Health and Bodies in Commercial Women’s Journals
1 The Mixed-Gender Public Space of the Commercial Women’s Journals: Male Editorial Agency and Female Authorial Subjectivity
2 The Ideal of “Wise Mothers and Good Wives”
3 Women and Weisheng in the Household
4 Women’s Hygiene and Reproductive Health
 4.1 Menstruation
 4.2 Childbirth
5 Conclusion

5 Policing Girl Students
1 Female Students in the Late Qing
2 The Republican Girl Students
3 Debates on Girl Students
4 Personal Accounts from Girl Students
5 Conclusion


Works Cited

All interested in women’s and gender history in China, and anyone concerned with the periodical press and print culture in modern China.
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