The study of Chinese women and gender since the late 1970s and early 1980s has profoundly enriched and complicated gender research and feminist theory. This special issue of differences brings together six essays and one commentary that showcase, from a variety of critical perspectives, the dynamic, transnational nature of gender and feminist research in Chinese studies. The introduction lays out the broader critical issues and nexuses that each of the essays in the issue engages with and highlights the issue’s diverse contributions to transnational feminist theory and the study of Chinese sexuality and gender formations.

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Author notes

I would like to thank Chengzhou He, codirector of the Nanjing-Brown Joint Program in Gender Studies and the Humanities, as well as other colleagues at Nanjing University who were essential to the success of the conference and to the early planning of this issue. I am most grateful to my colleagues and friends Edward Gunn, Alexander Des Forges, Louisa Wei, Casey Lee, and Jingyuan Zhang, who responded to my call for translations with enthusiasm, dedication, and excellence.

lingzhen wang is Associate Professor of East Asian Studies and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She specializes in modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture, gender studies, film studies, and transnational feminist theory. She is the author of Personal Matters: Women’s Autobiographical Practice in Twentieth-Century China (Stanford University Press, 2004), the editor and cotranslator of an anthology of Wang Anyi’s works, Years of Sadness (Cornell East Asian Press, 2009), and the editor of a critical anthology, Chinese Women’s Cinema: Transnational Contexts (Columbia University Press, 2011). With Chengzhou He, she cofounded and coedited the Chinese journal Gender, Theory, and Culture in 2009 (Nanjing University Press). She is the Brown University director of the Nanjing-Brown Joint Program in Gender Studies and the Humanities.

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