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Beyond New Waves: Gender and Sexuality in Sinophone Women's Cinema from the 1980s to the 2000s

  • Author(s): Kang, Kai
  • Advisor(s): Waller, Marguerite
  • et al.
Abstract

My dissertation bridges Chinese film studies, Sinophone studies, transnational feminism, and gender and sexuality studies through a comparative study of women's cinema in post-1976 China, post-1984 Hong Kong, and post-1987 Taiwan.

In my dissertation, I examine five Sinophone women's films--Huang Shuqin's Woman, Demon, Human (1987), Li Yu's Fish and Elephant (2001), Zero Chou's Spider Lilies (2007), Ann Hui's Song of the Exile (1990), and Mabel Cheung's The Soong Sisters (1997). I investigate socio-political influences on the filmmaking practices of Sinophone women directors and the receptions of these films in the global market. I argue that these films' innovative use of melodrama, re-excavation of repressed family stories, and representations of entanglements among gender, nation-state, modernization, and identity enact negotiations by these women directors of the forces of Confucianism, colonialism, socialism, patriarchal nationalisms, and heterosexual norms in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong at the turn of the century.

This project fills a lacuna in current scholarship on Sinophone women's cinema and intervenes in current debates on nationalism, gender, and sexuality in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the U.S.A.

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