This is an interdisciplinary course cross-listed in three departments: Anthropology (Links to an external site.) (ANTH), Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (Links to an external site.) (GWSS), and China Studies (Links to an external site.) through the Jackson School for International Studies (JSIS).
GENDER & SEXUALITY IN CHINA
MW 10:30am -12:20pm
Instructor: Professor Sasha Welland (Links to an external site.)
Office: Padelford Hall B-110P
Office Hours: TBA
*Please note: Every effort will be made to respond to email within 72 hours.
Artwork: Lei Yan, What If They Had Been Women, Digital Photograph, 2002
This course provides a comprehensive survey of gender and sexuality as key aspects of China’s process of modernization, from the late Qing dynasty through the building of the Republic, Communist revolution, and post-Mao economic reform. It examines, through historical, anthropological, and cultural studies scholarship, the centrality of these social constructs in terms of family, state, labor, body, and ethnicity. The course focuses on Mainland China, but there are opportunities for students through course assignments to broaden this field of inquiry to Greater China, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other diasporic areas of Sinophone cultural formation.
For students of Chinese history and culture, the course introduces important scholarship that has transformed the field. While gender and sexuality were once considered marginal pursuits in the study of China, they are now seen as central to the development of the modern Chinese nation-state, revolutionary politics, and post-socialist opening to transnational capitalism, as well as everyday experiences of family, work, and politics.
For students of anthropology, the course offers an exploration of gender and sexuality as significant dimensions in understanding culture and power and argues for the importance of historical change and transnational encounter in what might seem like culturally specific, stable categories of social life.
For students of gender and sexuality, the course provides an extensive non-Western case study of the social construction of these categories; feminist thought and movements; and the articulations and tensions between local and transnational influences in shaping normativizing ideologies, resistances, and struggles for social justice.
- To understand the centrality of gender and sexuality in modern Chinese history, sociocultural formation, and processes of change. (close reading, listening, and comprehension)
- To examine, in a non-Western context, the cultural specificity of gender and sexuality as social constructs that shape ideologies and experiences of family, state, labor, body, and ethnicity. (close reading, listening, and comprehension)
- To examine how transnational encounters shape these social constructs; and how the “local” and “global” interact and influence each other in producing and challenging powerful norms. (close reading, listening, and comprehension)
- To explore how these constructs are made, maintained, and modified at the macro and micro level, and their implications in power relations and struggles for social justice. (analytic and writing skills)
- To engage in a deep and sustained interdisciplinary conversation about gender, sexuality, culture, power, history, and change. To learn from each other’s expertise in cultural critique, gender analysis, and Chinese history and culture. (collaboration skills)