Four recent books attest to how much remains to be understood about queer Chinese cultures, both historically and in the contemporary period, especially in relation to their wider global contexts. While varying by discipline and approach, these books converge around a common set of analytical agendas: casting light on the importance of language and its discursive reach in popular understandings of same-sex desire, overturning the problem of long-standing heteronormative biases in area studies, grappling with the ghost of Western concepts of gender and sexuality, and jostling with the tensions between the global and the regional in diasporic China's queer formations. Yet despite their virtues, and in spite of their unanimous refusal to include the label “queer” in their titles, these books, to varying degrees, risk losing sight of the genealogical historicism that has methodologically grounded more global syntheses of queer scholarship.
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Book Review| June 01 2014
Queering China: A New Synthesis
Obsession: Male Same-Sex Relations in China, 1900–1950. Kang, Wenqing.
Hong Kong University Press,
Gay and Lesbian Subculture in Urban China. Ho, Loretta Wing Wah.
Chinese Male Homosexualities: Memba, Tongzhi, and Golden Boy. Kong, Travis S. K..
The Libertine's Friend: Homosexuality and Masculinity in Late Imperial China. Vitiello, Giovanni.
University of Chicago Press,
GLQ (2014) 20 (3): 353–378.
Howard Chiang; Queering China: A New Synthesis. GLQ 1 June 2014; 20 (3): 353–378. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-2422701
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