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Wei Wei – Family Matters: Chinese Queer Politics Around the Rise of a Family-State
February 13, 2023 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Speaker: Wei Wei, Professor of Sociology, East China Normal University; HYI Visiting Scholar, 2022-23
Chair/Discussant: Michael Bronski, Professor of the Practice In Media And Activism In Studies Of Women, Gender, And Sexuality, Harvard University
LGBT activism in mainland China, based on the trajectory of identity politics, faces increasing challenges from the state in recent years. Drawing insights from the scholarship of provincizing sexual citizenship and building on my decades-long researches into Chinese LGBT communities and activism, the study situates such challenges and responses of the LGBT communities in the context of a rising Chinese family-state. It first lays out the bleak reality of civic participation and mobilization, parallel to the ascendance of familist discourses, that lead to the reconfiguration of Chinese queer politics. The engagement of LGBT communities to the Chinese family-state will be the focus of the talk. On the one hand, the newly emerging LGBT parent families utilize the opportunities of policy change to strive for the state’s recognition; on the other hand, family value as a shared rhetoric but open for contestation, has been appropriated by the LGBT activism to negotiate with the state for survival. The talk concludes with a discussion of Chinese homonationalism in the making, which may also have implication for queer politics beyond China.
Harvard-Yenching Institute Visiting Scholar Talk
Masks are required for all in-person audience members. Seating is limited.