Call for Papers:International Conference: Chinese Women in World History


  • Conference Date: July 11-14, 11-14, 2017
  • Conference Venue: Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica
  • Languages: Chinese and English
  • Proposal submission period: April 8, 2016- May 31, 2016
  • Notification: June 30, 2016Final paper due: Date will be announced later

The last twenty years in Chinese women’s history research have been marked by great breakthroughs. From “patriarchal oppression” to “women’s autonomy,” from “her story” to “construction of gender,” figures of Chinese women in history are becoming increasingly visible, and their expressions are not limited to the mild “voiceless voice” any more. Nevertheless, just as our knowledge about Chinese women’s history is becoming abundant and detailed, we can also see its limitations, especially when adopting “China” as a research framework. The development of women’s rights in modern China cannot be separated from the development of the nation-state, hence it seems that research on modern Chinese women’s history cannot bypass nationalism. Yet, is the state the key issue for women’ history research? Can we, as Prasenjit Duara suggested more than a decade ago, rescue women’s history from the nation?

In line with this question, t. Adopting a more ‘inclusive’ manner, we hope to re-examine the role of Chinese women in the context of world history, for example, their imagination of the “foreign lands”; their interactions with and mis/understandings of foreigners; similarities and differences between Chinese and foreign women’s experiences, etc. At the same time, we live in a “butterfly effect” global village, where regional political upheavals, economic crises, and environmental changes are actually global issues. No matter whether we agree with the thesis of “globalization”, “global links” do offer a key perspective to understand regional culture. What is the relation between these global links and Chinese women? What kind of new perspectives and insights may a global view provide to the research of Chinese women’s history?

This conference welcomes submissions that address all historical periods (up to the 1970s) and cover (but are not limited to) the following themes:

1. Everyday life (food, clothing, housing, traveling, material culture)
2. Revolution and war
3. Migration, exile and diaspora
4. Politics and governance (female rulers, suffrage, diplomacy)
5. Religion and rituals
6. Body, hygiene and medicine
7. Science and technology
8. Gender, sex, and sexuality
9. Marriage and family
10. Creativity and design (performing arts, film, music, fine arts, literature, lifestyle)
11. Law, crime, and punishment
12. Economic production (agriculture, sericulture, trade, handicraft, industry)
13. Space and place
14. Women in the frontiers (overseas and borderlands)
15. Home economics and household management
16. Popular culture

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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