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Marxism & Feminism in China

Past, Present and Prospect


May 3 & 4, 2013 20 Cooper Square, 5 Fl


The era of State-sponsored feminism in China (1949-1976), while roundly

critiqued for its rigidities and androgenies, has recently been re-examined for its

more progressive aspects. Meanwhile, the freedoms of contemporary China

under market liberalization have also been consistently critiqued for being carried

out at the expense of and on the backs of women’s autonomy. The conflicted

aspects of this history are entwined with the rejoining by China of the global

capitalist system of trade and relations from the 1980s onwards, and with the

ways in which China’s feminisms – as theory and experience -- resonate with, but

also differ significantly from other feminisms around the world.

Historically intertwined since the turn of the twentieth century with Marxism,

anarchism, and a host of other radicalisms (including liberalism), feminist theory,

thought, practice, and experience have been and remain heavily contested in the

activist and scholarly realms. This two-day workshop of invited scholars is intended

to delve more deeply into these issues, as matters of feminist, Chinese, and global




Friday, May 3:

9:30-12:00 History and the Past

Gail Hershatter (UC, Santa Cruz)

Lin Chun (London School of Economics)

Tani Barlow (Rice University)

Barbara Mittler (Heidelberg University)

Harriet Evans (Westminster University)

Rebecca Karl (New York University)

1:30-4 History and Memory

Chris Connery (UC, Santa Cruz)

Zhong Xueping (Tufts University)

Dai Jinhua (Peking University)

Lydia Liu (Columbia University)

Lisa Rofel (UC, Santa Cruz)

Saturday, May 4

Sponsored by China House, East Asian Studies Department, History Department,

Humanities Initiative, and History of Women and Gender Program

Session I:

10-12 Local Discussants

Session II:

1:30-4:30 Further discussion (To be announced after the first day)