"The Birth of Chinese Feminism": Book Discussion with the Authors


Friday, February 26, 2016, 4:00pm


Room S153 | CGIS South | 1730 Cambridge Street | Cambridge, MA

Lydia H. Liu, Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, Columbia University; Professor, School of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Tsinghua University 清華大學

Professor Liu received a bicultural education in China and the United States. She completed her Ph.D. degree in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 1990. After that, she taught at UC Berkeley for more than a decade (1990-2002) where she eventually became the Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures. She also taught at the University of Michigan in 2004-2006 and held the chair of the Helmut Stern Professorship in Chinese Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature. Professor Liu’s research and publications have focused on cultural exchange in modern history and literature, the movement of words, ideas, and artifacts across national boundaries, political thought in translation, and the evolution of writing, textuality, and technology. Her current research is focused on digital media and psychoanalysis.She is the author of The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making (2004) and, more recently, The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious (2010).

Rebecca E. Karl, Associate Professor of History and East Asian Studies, New York University

Professor Karl explores the intersections of Chinese intellectual-cultural history, global change, and conceptual histories so as to understand the ways in which China's violent integration into the global capitalist world system of economics, culture, and society transformed China and the world from the late-nineteenth century onwards. Her current project continues these concerns and focuses on the twentieth-century economic philosopher and translator, Wang Yanan, and the worlds of economic thinking in 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s China. She is the author of Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History (2010) and The Magic of Concepts: Essays on Philosophy, Economics and Culture in Twentieth Century China (Forthcoming, 2016).

Dorothy KoProfessor of History, Barnard College

Professor Ko is a cultural historian who specializes in gender and body in early modern China. Her current research focuses on women's artistry and skills in textiles, which constitute an alternative knowledge system to male-centered textual scholarship. Her teaching interests also include the history of women and gender in East Asia; feminist theories; and visual and material cultures. Professor Ko's research and scholarship have been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and the American Council for Learned Socieities. Her book Cinderella's Sisters was awarded the 2006 Joan Kelly Memorial Prize of the American Historical Association for the best work in women's history and/or feminist theory. She is a co-editor of Women and Confucian Cultures in Pre-modern China, Korea, and Japan (2003) and the author of Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth-Century China (1994) and Cinderella's Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding (2005).

Discussant: Ellen Rooney, Professor of English and Modern Culture and Media, Brown University

Professor Rooney Ellen Rooney studies the novel, literary and cultural theory, and feminist studies. She authored Seductive Reasoning: Pluralism as the Problematic of Contemporary Literary Theory (1989) and edited theCambridge Companion to Feminist Literary Theory (2006). Her new book, A Semiprivate Room (2004), examines the "semiprivate" as it works in the classroom, "personal criticism," and the politics of "the personal is the political."

Organizer: Ellen Widmer, Mayling Soong Professor of Chinese Studies; Professor of East Asian Studies, Wellesley College

Professor Widmer studies traditional Chinese fiction, history of Chinese women's writing, history of the book in China, and missionaries to East Asia. She has trained in the history of traditional Chinese fiction and has worked hard to bring women into the picture. Professor Widmer has also written on the outreach of colleges like Wellesley and Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut to Christian colleges in China, Japan, and Korea. Professor Widmer received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College. She has an MA and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.