/ Forschung, Events

November 14, 2023: Encountering a Land of Women − Gender Inversion in Qing Dynasty Travel Writing

Xie Sui

Image (detail): Xie Sui, Official Tribute (1751), Wikimedia Commons

This public lecture by Emma J. Teng (Cambridge, MA) will examine the representation of foreign women in late imperial China, focusing on travel writing on Taiwan, an island newly conquered by the Qing in 1683.

Drawing on well-established pre-modern Chinese tropes, Qing travel writers commonly employed the conceit of gender inversion in depicting Taiwan’s indigenous women, using gender as a lens through which to represent Taiwan’s alterity. Gender and ethnicity thus became closely intertwined in Qing ethnographic and colonial discourse. The use of gender inversion in Qing travel accounts of Europe will also be compared as a means of elucidating the colonial dynamics of the era.

Emma J. Teng is the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895 (2004), a study of Chinese colonial discourses on Taiwan that places the China-Taiwan relationship in the historical context of Chinese imperial expansionism. Her latest book, Eurasian: Mixed Identities in the United States, China and Hong Kong, 1842-1943 (2013), examines ideas concerning racial intermixing and the lived experiences of mixed families in China and the US between 1842 and 1943.

Organisation: Prof. Dr. Nadine Amsler, Department of History, University of Basel

Contact: fnz-sekretariat-geschichte@clutterunibas.ch