China Trans Formed
Speaker: Dr Howard Chiang, Department of History, University of California, Davis
In this talk Dr Howard Chiang introduces the major findings from his latest monograph, After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China (2018). For much of Chinese history, the eunuch stood out as an exceptional figure at the margins of gender categories. Amid the disintegration of the Qing Empire, men and women in China began to understand their differences in the language of modern science. In After Eunuchs, Howard Chiang traces the genealogy of sexual knowledge from the demise of eunuchism to the emergence of transsexuality, showing the centrality of new epistemic structures to the formation of Chinese modernity. From anticastration discourses in the late Qing era to sex-reassignment surgeries in Taiwan in the 1950s and queer movements in the 1980s and 1990s, After Eunuchs explores the ways the introduction of Western biomedical sciences transformed normative meanings of gender, sexuality, and the body in China.
Dr Howard Chiang is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on modern Chinese history, the history of science and medicine, the history of gender and sexuality, global and transnational history, and Sinophone studies. He is the author of After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China (Columbia University Press, 2018). He also edited several books including Transgender China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), Queer Sinophone Cultures (with Ari Larissa Heinrich, Routledge, 2013), Psychiatry and Chinese History. (Pickering & Chatto, 2014), Historical Epistemology and the Making of Modern Chinese Medicine (Manchester University Press, 2015), Perverse Taiwan (with Yin Wang, Routledge, 2016), Sexuality in China: Histories of Power and Pleasure (University of Washington Press, 2018), The Making of the Human Sciences in China: Historical and Conceptual Foundations (Brill, 2019) and Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History (3 vols, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2019). He is currently completing a book manuscript titled Above the Radar: Transtopia and the Rhetoric of History.
Free event. All welcome