GENDER IN CONTEMPORARY EAST ASIA
Gender structures the situation of women and men in all societies, yet varies in shape and dynamics. The study of gender in contemporary East Asia provides us a unique opportunity to explore how different social contexts engender different articulation of gender and how feminism comes to be conceptualized in relations to gendered effects of political, economic and cultural changes. In this course, we will examine these gender issues from a comparative perspective that goes beyond dichotomies of East and West. We will discuss women’s relationship to the state, politics, economy, and local and global processes of cultural production. Our goal is not only to gain insights to women and gender relations in East Asia but also to extend our understanding of the dynamics of gender in the contemporary world.
Yuko Ogasawara (1998). Office Ladies and Salaried Men: Power, Gender and Work in Japanese Society. CA: University of California Press.
Mayfair Mei-hui Yang (1999). Spaces of Their Own. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Laura Nelson (2000). Measured Excess: Status, Gender, and Consumer Nationalism in South Korea. New York: Columbia University Press.
Lisa Rofel (1999). Other Modernities: Gendered Yearning in China After Socialism. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Robin M. LeBlanc (1999). Bicycle Citizens: The Political World of the Japanese Housewife. Berkeley: University of California Press.
A course reading pack
The books are available in Labyrinth Books. Please purchase the course pack at Broadway Copy Center: 3062 Broadway (at 121 st Street). Tel: 212-864-6501. All the reading materials are also on reserve in Barnard Library.
( Readings marked with an asterisk are in the course pack)
Section I: Feminist Perspectives on East Asia
Sept. 7 Introduction
Sept. 9 Feminism, East and West
*Chandra Talpede Mohanty (2003). “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourse,” pp.17-42 in Feminism Without Borders.
*Esther Ngan-ling Chow (2002). “Globalization, East Asian Development and Gender: A Historical Overview,” pp.9-24; “Studying Development with Gender Perspectives: from Mainstream Theories to Alternative Frameworks,” pp.25-57 in Transforming Gender and Development in East Asia.
Sept. 14 Confucianism and women (Guest Speaker)
Sept. 16 Feminism in Japan
*Chiyo Saito (1997). “What is Japanese Feminism?” pp.257-270 in Sandra Buckley (ed.) Broken Silence: Voices of Japanese Feminism.
*Chizuko Ueno (1997). “Are the Japanese Feminine? Some Problems of Japanese Feminism in Its Cultural Context,” pp.293-301 in Sandra Buckley (ed.)
*Sandra Buckley (1994) “A Short History of the Feminist Movement in Japan,” pp.150-186 in Joyce Gelb and Marian Lief Palley (eds.) Women of Japan and Korea.
Sept. 21 Democracy and women’s movements in South Korea
*Miriam Ching Yoon Louie (1995). “Minjung Feminism: Korean Women’s Movement for Gender and Class Liberation,” pp.417-430 in Women’s Studies International Forum 18 (4).
*Bang-Soon L. Yoon (2001). “Democratization and Gender Politics in South Korea,” pp. 171-194 in Rita Mae Kelly (ed.): Gender, Globalization and Democratization.
Sept. 23 Feminism and socialism
Mayfair Mei-hui Yang (1999). “From Gender Erasure to Gender Difference: State Feminism, Consumer Sexuality, and Women’s Public Sphere in China,” pp. 35-67 in Mayfair Mei-hui Yang (ed.): Space of Their Own.
Li Xiaojiang (1999). “With What Discourse Do We Reflect on Chinese Women? Thoughts on Transnational Feminism in China,” pp. 261-277 in Mayfair Mei-hui Yang (ed.)
Section II: Women and the Economy
Sept. 28 Women and the Japanese labor market
Yuko Ogasawara (1998). Office Ladies and Salaried Men. Chapter 1-3
Sept. 30 Office Ladies: powerless subjects or agents of resistance
Yuko Ogasawara (1998). Chapter 4-6.
Oct. 5 Men and marginalized masculinities in Japan
*James Roberson and Nobue Suzuki (2003). Introduction in Men and Masculinity in Contemporary Japan: Beyond the Salaryman Doxa.
*James Roberson (2003). “Japanese Working-Class Masculinities: Marginalized Complicity,” pp. 126-143 in Roberson and Suzuki (eds.)
Oct. 7 Economic growth, class and consumption in South Korea
Laura Nelson (2000). Measured Excess: Status, Gender, and Consumer Nationalism in South Korea. Chapter 1-3.
Oct. 12 Patriotism and women’s consumption
Laura Nelson (2000). Chapter 4-6.
Oct. 14 Gendered employment in China’s reform era
*Wang Zheng (2000). “Gender, Employment and Women’s Resistance,” pp. 62-82 in Elizabeth Perry and Mark Seldon (eds.): Chinese Society: Change, Conflict and Resistance.
*Li Zhang (2000). “The Interplay of Gender, Space, and Work in China’s Floating Population,” pp. 171-196 in Barbara Entwisle and Gail E. Henderson (eds.): Re-Drawing Boundaries: Work, Households, and Gender in China.
One-page paper proposal due
Mid-term essay questions distributed
Oct. 19 Discourse of liberation in China
Lisa Rofel (1999). Other Modernities. Chapter 1-3.
Oct. 21 Shifting meaning of authority
Lisa Rofel (1999). Chapter 4-6, 8.
Oct. 26 Marriage, motherhood and femininity after socialism
*Suzanne Z. Gottschang (2001). “The Consuming Mother: Infant Feeding and the Feminine Body in Urban China,” pp. 89-103 in Nancy C Chan et al (eds.): China Urban: Ethnographies of Contemporary Culture.
*William Jankowiak (2002). “Proper Men and Proper Women: Parental Affection in the Chinese Family,” pp. 361-380 in Susan Brownell and Jeffrey Wasserstrom (eds.): Chinese Femininities, Chinese Masculinities.
Oct. 28 Film screening and discussion
The War of Love, directed by Jiang Yue and Duan Jinchuan (45 min)
Mid-term essay due
Section III Women, Politics, and Empowerment
Nov. 2 No class – University holiday
Nov. 4 Housewives and citizenship in Japan
Robin M. LeBlanc (1999). Bicycle Citizens: The Political World of the Japanese Housewife. Chapter 1-3.
Nov. 9 Women and politics in Japan
Robin M. LeBlanc (1999). Chapter 4-6.
Nov. 11 Women, the state and nationalism in China
Virginia Cornue (1999). “Practicing NGOness and Relating Women’s Space Publicly: the Women’s Hotline and the State,” pp. 68-91 in Mayfair Mei-hui Yang (ed.)
Susan Brownell (1999). “Strong Women and Impotent Men: Sports, Gender, and Nationalism in Chinese Public Culture,” pp. 207-231 in Mayfair Mei-hui Yang (ed.)
Nov. 16 War, memory, and the “Comfort Women” issue
*Hyun Sook Kim (1997). “History and Memory: The Comfort Women Controversy,” pp. 73-106 in Position (5) 1.
*John Lie (1997). “The State as Pimp: Prostitution and Patriarchal State in Japan in the 1940s,” pp. 251-264 in Sociological Quarterly 38 (2).
Nov. 18 Film screening and discussion
Habitual Sadness: Korean Comfort Women Today, directed by Byun Young-Joo (1999, 70 min)
*Hiromi Yamazaki (1996). “Military Sexual Slavery and the Women’s Movement,” pp. 90-100 in AMPO (ed.): Voice from the Japanese Women’s Movement.
*Kim Pu Ja. (1996). “Looking at Sexual Slavery from a Zainichi Perspective,” pp. 157-160 in AMPO (ed.)
Nov. 23 Women, military bases, and international relations
*Cynthia Enloe (1989). “Base Women,” pp. 65-92 in Cynthia Enloe: Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics.
*Katherine H.S. Moon (1998). “Prostitute Bodies and Gendered States in US-Korea Relations,” pp. 141-174 in Elaine H. Kim and Chungmoo Choi (eds.): Dangerous Women.
Nov. 25 No class – Thanksgiving
Section IV: Body, Sexuality, and Transnational Gender Relations
Nov. 30 Cross-border marriage and sex
*Nobue Suzuki (2003). “Of Love and the Marriage Market: Masculinity Politics and Filipina-Japanese Marriage in Japan,” pp. 91-108 in Roberson and Nobue (eds).
*Karen Kelsky (1996). “Flirting with the Foreign: Interracial Sex in Japan’s ‘International Age,’” pp. 173-192 in Rob Wilson and Wimal Dissanayake (eds.): Global/Local: Cultural Production and Transnational Imaginary.
Dec. 2 Cross-border fantasies and desire
Kathleen Erwin (1999). “White Women, Male Desires: A Televisual Fantasy of Transnational Chinese Family,” pp. 231-257 in Mayfair Mei-hui Yang (ed.).
*Constance D. Clark (2002). “Foreign Marriage, ‘Tradition,’ and the Politics of Border Crossing,” pp. 104-122 in Nancy C. Chan et al (eds): China Urban: Ethnographies of Contemporary Culture.
Dec. 7 Shifting context of gender and sexuality
*Susan Brownell (2001). “Making Dream Bodies in Beijing: Athletes, Fashion Models, and Urban Mystique in China,” pp. 123-142 in Nancy C. Chan et al (eds.)
*Harriet Evans (2002). “Past, Perfect or Imperfect: Changing Images of Ideal Wife,” pp. 335-360 in Brownell and Wasserstrom (eds.)
Dec. 9 Cultural production in a transnational era
*Mike Featherstone (1996). “Localism, Globalism, and Cultural Identity,” pp. 46-77 in Rob Wilson and Wimal Dissanayake (eds.): Global/Local.
*Louisa Schein (2002). “Gender and Internal Orientalism in China,” pp. 385-411 in Brownell and Wasserstrom (eds.)
Final paper due.