Female Bodies in China: 
Literati Fantasies, Iron Girls & Olympics Hoopla

A Talk by Professor Eva Man 文潔華

When: Tue, May 17, 3-5pm

Where: Room 1600, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street

Free and open to the public.
Register here 


Event Description

I would focus on two overlapping issues while discussing the development of female aesthetics and the notion of a feminine ideal in China: (1) how this development can be understood within the particular historical and cultural context in China and how it can be related to various factors such as economic and political situations; (2) with man as the speaking subject in the Chinese patriarchal system, how male imaginations (especially those represented by the literati) construct the ideal and the aesthetic quality in woman as the projection of their wishes or regrets and as the production of various forms of their fantasies. 

The talk will first introduce the philosophical discussion of female beauty in the Chinese traditions. It will then provide a contextual case study of the development and construction of the feminine ideal in the courtesan culture in late Imperial China, illustrating how the female beauty notion in China is redefined and represented by male literati under certain political and economic changes. Lastly, this talk will outline the discourses on female beauty in China under its Communist regime, which represent ideas that have departed from its tradition to follow the cosmopolitan values in the economics rapidly blooming country, as demonstrated by the Olympics it presented.  -- Eva Man


Speaker's Bio

Prof. Eva Man is currently the Director of Film Academy and Chair Professor in Humanities of Hong Kong Baptist University. She publishes widely in comparative aesthetics, comparative philosophy, woman studies, feminist philosophy, cultural studies, art and cultural criticism. She was a Fulbright scholar and was named AMUW Endowed Woman Chair Professor of Marquette University, USA. She was awarded Outstanding Contributions to Public Services by the HKSAR.

Hosted by SFU's Institute for Transpacific Cultural Research
Co-sponsored by the Department of Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies