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Gender and Representation in Late Imperial and Republican China
Author: Jing Zhu
This book explores the mutual constitutions of visuality and empire from the perspective of gender, probing how the lives of China’s ethnic minorities at the southwest frontiers were translated into images. Two sets of visual materials make up its core sources: the Miao album, a genre of ethnographic illustration depicting the daily lives of non-Han peoples in late imperial China, and the ethnographic photographs found in popular Republican-era periodicals. It highlights gender ideals within images and develops a set of “visual grammar” of depicting the non-Han. Casting new light on a spectrum of gendered themes, including femininity, masculinity, sexuality, love, body and clothing, the book examines how the power constructed through gender helped to define, order, popularise, celebrate and imagine possessions of empire.
Author: Jing Zhu

Traditional Chinese medicine has attracted the attention of pharmacologists because some of its remedies have proved useful against cancer and malaria. However, a variety of controversies have arisen regarding the difficulty of identifying and explaining the effectiveness of remedies by biomedical criteria. By exploring the socio-cultural history of qiushi (literally, ‘autumn mineral’), a drug prepared from urine and used frequently throughout Chinese history, I examine how alchemy, popular culture, politics and ritual influenced pre-modern views of the efficacy of the drug, and explore the sharp contrast between views of the drug’s function and efficacy in the context of Chinese medicine and contemporary biomedical knowledge. Questioning the biomedical hypothesis that qiushi contains sex hormones, I find that the popular, centuries-long use of qiushi correlates with the efficacy of what has been called ‘the meaning response,’ the merging of alchemy and medicine, the influence of social relations, and the division and mixture of theory and practical use.

Free access
In: East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
In: Visualising Ethnicity in the Southwest Borderlands
In: Visualising Ethnicity in the Southwest Borderlands
In: Visualising Ethnicity in the Southwest Borderlands
In: Visualising Ethnicity in the Southwest Borderlands
In: Visualising Ethnicity in the Southwest Borderlands