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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Vanguards of Modernity: David Eng Considers the Queer Space of Stanley Kwan's Lan Yu


On November 5, David L. Eng, Professor of English, Comparative Literature and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, gave his audience a glimpse of his fascinating new project entitled “The Queer Space of China” in the Center for the Study of Women’s Faculty Curator Series on “The Color of LGBT: Race in Sexuality.” The timing of the talk was doubly relevant, arriving on the eve of postmodern China’s emergent status as nascent world power and coming just after the passing of California’s hotly debated Proposition 8, a ballot measure that eliminated gay marriage in Lan Yu Stanley Kwan 2001 Vanguards of Modernity by Tara Fickle the state. Exploring the stakes underlying our so-called “colorblind moment,” Eng argued for a (re)consideration of gay and lesbian identity in Chinese society as a uniquely modern, and potentially reparative, confrontation with the totalitarian nation-state.

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