Capital Uni Hosts Forum to Discuss Gender Consciousness in China

November 29, 2018
Editor: Xie Wen

Researchers recently participated in a large-scale academic forum at Beijing's Capital Normal University (CNU) to discuss trends in relation to the rise and growth of gender consciousness.

The event was jointly organized by the Chinese Women's Cultural Research Center (CWCRC) and the School of Literature at CNU. Nearly 100 expert scholars and writers from Peking University, Tsinghua, and other domestic and foreign universities attended the forum.

The meeting was presided over by Ai You, director of the CWCRC.

Speakers at the opening ceremony included Xu Zhihong, deputy secretary of the Party Committee of the CNU; Sun Fenglan, deputy inspector of Beijing Women's Federation; and, Bai Ye, president of the Chinese Association of Contemporary Literature.

The forum was held on the occasion of commemorating the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up.

Experts discussed the development of gender consciousness through systematic reviews and summaries, and carried out in-depth analysis of the issue of gender research in the new era, especially in relation to the Internet.

At the forum, scholars from universities and writers at home and abroad made keynote speeches in respect to gender consciousness, literary theory research, literary creation and other related issues.

Professor Chen Xiaoming, head of the Chinese Department of Peking University, cited examples from contemporary literary works and analyzed the deepening of gender consciousness in contemporary literary creation.

He said the rise of women's consciousness is a product of vanguard literature, and many great works reflect the concerns of women's fate.

Professor Liu Yong from the School of Literature at Beijing Normal University (BNU) put forward the issue of the disciplinization of women's literature and the localization of women's literature research from the perspective of discipline construction and academic research.

He emphasized that in Chinese history and the local environment, women's literature is more of a social issue than a literary problem.

Professor Yang Lianfen from the School of Literature of Renmin University of China traced the concept of feminism from the aspect of literary history, emphasizing that feminism in China cannot be equated with feminism in the West.

Professor Zhang Qinghua from BNU commented that the greatest contribution of feminist theory is to promote women's awakening, and also promote men's self-reflection and progress in the gender sense.

Researcher Zhao Xifang of the Institute of Literature of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences shows concern for the relationship between feminism and post-colonialism.

He believes that anti-colonial theorists generally overlooked women's views when criticizing Western colonialism. Thus the criticism of such neglect constitutes another filed of feminist post-colonialism.

Researcher Liu Huiying of the National Museum of China Modern Literature took the creation of writer Zhang Jie as a case study to analyze the influence of gender consciousness on literary creation.

Professor Zhang Li from BNU shared the gender views of 34 contemporary female writers including Mao Jian, Di An and Huang Tongtong, presenting the modality of feminist writing in the era.

Based on overseas Chinese women's writings since the new era, Liu Yan, deputy editor of Literary Review, believes that the Chinese history and reality presented by overseas Chinese female writers in the new century are a valuable proposition. She also stated that they will hit a bottleneck if people solely examine their creations with feminist theory or gender consciousness.

In addition, writers such as Lu Xinhua, Xu Xiaobin, Zhou Li, Chen Jiu and others also made speeches on their respective research results and creative experiences in combination with gender consciousness.

Professor Jiang Ruoyu and Hu Wei from the Central Academy of Drama conducted an in-depth analysis of gender consciousness in theatrical works, and in the work of directors and actual performances. Hu also explored gender consciousness in drama and analyzed the law of role shaping.

Lu Yanjuan, an associate professor at China University of Political Science and Law, believes that people should discover and contemplate the unique and real issues in specific Chinese history and realistic society structure when focusing and researching on gender issues, and form a subjective research theory and framework.

In addition to topics such as gender consciousness and literary studies, a group of cutting-edge scholars have explored new issues related to gender in the field of mass culture.

Shao Yanjun, an associate professor at the Peking University, believes that female-oriented literature has carried out various kinds of revolutionary radical movements, some of which are astonishing.

Xue Jing of Tsinghua University believes that in the intergenerational alternation of online romantic fiction, women's self-imagination has been subtly changing. Thus it calls for more attention to how women form more effective discourse expression patterns.

Liu Kun, an associate professor at the Nankai University, found two major trends, namely compartmentation and publicity, through studies on the content of female public accounts such as Miss Blue and Miss Yellow and Cherry Pictorial.

She also believes that these two trends reflect the positive value of women as a gender group to increase consumption influence and public influence.

Other scholars interpreted related writings of famous female writers such as Wang Anyi, Zhang Ailing, Chi Zijian, Hong Ying, Yan Gelie and Li Juan from a gender perspective.

Lin Pin, a lecturer at the CNU, provided some useful historical references for Chinese intellectuals who are committed to promoting gender equality and gender diversity by reassessing the relationship between Sigmund Freud's gender theory and patriarchal culture.

(Source: Translated and edited by Women of China)

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