Different Worlds of Discourse

Transformations of Gender and Genre in Late Qing and Early Republican China


During the late Qing reform era (1895-1912), women for the first time in Chinese history emerged in public space in collective groups. They assumed new social and educational roles and engaged in intense debates about the place of women in China's present and future. These debates found expression in new media, including periodicals and pictorials, which not only harnessed the power of existing cultural forms but also encouraged experimentation with a variety of new literary genres and styles - works increasingly produced by and for Chinese women. Different Worlds of Discourse explores the reform period from three interrelated and comparatively neglected perspectives: the construction of gender roles, the development of literary genres, and the emergence of new forms of print media.
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Biographical Note

Nanxiu Qian, Ph.D. (1994) in Literature, Yale University, is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at Rice University. She has published on Classical Chinese literature and women and gender studies, including Spirit and Self in Medieval China: The Shih-shuo hsin-yü and Its Legacy (Hawai'i, 2001). Grace S. Fong, Ph.D. (1984) in Literature, University of British Columbia, is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at McGill University, Canada. She has published widely on Classical Chinese poetry and poetics and women's writing. Her most recent book is Herself an Author: Gender, Agency, and Writing in Late Imperial China (Hawai'i, 2008). Richard J. Smith, Ph.D. (1973) in History, University of California, Davis, is Rupp Professor of Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of 12 books, the most recent of which is Fathoming the Cosmos and Managing the World (UVA Press, 2008).

Table of contents

List of Figures Acknowledgments Introduction: Different Worlds of Discourse: Transformations of Gender and Genre in Late Qing and Early Republican China - Nanxiu Qian, Grace S. Fong, and Richard J. Smith PART ONE TRANSFORMATIONS OF GENDER ROLES 1. Wang Zhaoyuan (1763–1851) and the Erasure of “Talented Women” by Liang Qichao - Harriet T. Zurndorfer 2. “Tossing the Brush”? Wu Zhiying (1868–1934) and the Uses of Calligraphy - Hu Ying 3. Reconfiguring Time, Space, and Subjectivity: Lü Bicheng’s Travel Writings on Mount Lu - Grace S. Fong 4. From “Cainü” to “Nü Jiaoxi”: Female Normal Schools and the Transformation of Women’s Education in the Late Qing Period, 1895–1911 - Xiaoping Cong PART TWO TRANSFORMATIONS OF GENRES 5. Mediated Imaginings: Biographies of Western Women and Their Japanese Sources in Late Qing China - Joan Judge 6. Female Assassins, Civilization, and Technology in Late Qing Literature and Culture - Jing Tsu 7. Patriotism Versus Love: The Central Dilemma of Zhan Kai’s Novel Bihai zhu - Ellen Widmer PART THREE THE PRODUCTION OF GENDER AND GENRES IN NEW PRINT MEDIA 8. Women in Shenbaoguan Publications, 1872–90 - Rudolf G. Wagner 9. The Mother Nü xuebao versus the Daughter Nü xuebao: Generational Differences between 1898 and 1902 Women Reformers - Nanxiu Qian 10. Tianyi bao and He Zhen’s Views on “Women’s Revolution” - Xia Xiaohong,Translated by Hu Ying 11. Male Gaze/Female Students: Late Qing Education for Women as Portrayed in Beijing Pictorials, 1902–08 - Chen Pingyuan, Translated by Anne S. Chao 12. The Construction of Gender and Genre in the 1910s New Media: Evidence from The Ladies’ Journal - Siao-chen Hu Suggested Bibliography About the Contributors Index


All those interested in Chinese history, culture, literature, and women and gender studies, especially of the late imperial and early republican periods.