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When Talented Women Became Socialist State Power Holders: Chen Bo’er and the Paradigm of Socialist Film in the PRC

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
12:00 AM
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building

Wang Zheng U-M Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and History Associate Research Scientist, Institute for Research on Women and Gender Associate Director, Center for Chinese Studies

How did Chinese women from elite families relocate and reposition themselves when the transition from empire to nation fundamentally hinged on restructuring an inner/outer gender space? The massive boarder-crossing from the inner to the outer practiced by elite women since the turn of the 20th century has been studied by scholars in various fields. This talk focuses on the implications of repositioning of new elite women on socialist state building by analyzing the life of Chen Bo’er (1907-1951), a movie star of the 1930s who became a founder of the PRC film industry.

WANG Zheng is associate professor of Women’s Studies and History, associate research scientist of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at University of Michigan, and currently, the associate director of the CCS. A long-term academic activist promoting gender studies in China, she is the director of the U-M-China Gender Studies Project, and founder and co-director of the U-M-Fudan Joint Institute for Gender Studies at Fudan University, Shanghai. Her English publications concern changing gender discourses and relations in China's socioeconomic, political and cultural transformations of the past century, and feminism in China, both in terms of its historical development and its contemporary activism in the context of globalization. She is the author of Women in the Chinese Enlightenment: Oral and Textual Histories (UC Press, 1999). She has edited volumes (both in English and Chinese) on a variety of topics: the construction of feminist subjectivity in socialist China, the politics and effects of translating feminisms in China throughout the twentieth century, and significance of introducing “gender” into the study of Chinese history as well as into the discursive contentions in contemporary China. The presentation is part of her on-going book project Melodies of Feminism: A Gender History of the PRC