This Chinese feminism which is not “one”

Ya-chen Chen, Purdue University


My dissertation project, “This Chinese Feminism Which is Not ‘One,’” examines the recent work of Chinese feminist scholars from the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong, and Taiwan to analyze the different kinds of feminism they take up in their scholarship. I stage a debate between Chinese and Western feminist theories to show how Chinese feminist scholars select and appropriate Western theories and then transform them to address gender concerns specific to the contexts of the PRC, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. My approach problematizes the frequently held belief that Chinese feminism is synonymous with feminism in the PRC. For example, I show that Taiwan's post-colonial loss of self-confidence may keep feminist scholars in the thrall of Western literary theoretical fashions, and for my analysis of post-Maoist academic feminism, the socio-political control of Chinese Communist state is the key point. In my conclusion, I show how my findings can be used to re-shape the Orientalism that characterizes Western understandings of Chinese feminism.




Stephenson, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Asian literature|Womens studies|Comparative literature

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