China and Inner Asia
Media landscapes have changed drastically in China over the past decade with growing users and innovative platforms. Increased circulation of gender-talk and the proliferation of feminist discourses remain mediated between the counterveiling forces of market reform and intensifying state control over mass-mediated expressions: from virtual discussion forums, to face-to-face networks, to text-based media. On the one hand, compared to the 90s, progressive socio-political topics like feminism, LGBTQ, women-supporting groups, and sci-fi literature seem to be no longer confined to liberal bubble publics. On the other hand, Chinese nationalist discourses are becoming more complex and intimate – not only forming distinctive personas, brands, and lifestyles, but also expanding to a variety of fields from literature to marriage, and gender/sexuality expressions.
In this panel, we interrogate how gender/sexual discourses negotiate and complicate the nation-state discourse through mass mediation. Wu explores whether popular feminism empowers women. Following it, Zhuang asks what does it mean to be an (un)patriotic feminist/queer in China among online groups. Furthermore, Ke examines how online nationalist discourses recruit homosexuality in the self-making of nationalists. Last but not least, Ke-Schutte looks at how emerging gender-related issues are co-opted by market-driven interests - reinvigorating older genealogies of nationhood amidst a surging patriotic fever in contemporary Chinese sci-fi literature. Taken together, we examine how the nation-state imaginary reconfigures gender/sexual discourses and how gender/sexuality is recruited to projects of state/nation-making through online and textual media. We are also interested in how gender amplifies national emotion, as well as how nationalism ratifies gender normativity.
Virtual Paper Presenter: Shuting Zhuang – University of Chicago
Virtual Paper Presenter: Xiao Ke – University of Pennsylvania
Virtual Paper Presenter: Jay Ke-Schutte – Zhejiang University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Jinxian Wu – Lancaster University