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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Processing Tongzhi Imaginaries: Chinese Queer Representation in the Global Mediascape
by Chao, Shi-Yan, Ph.D., New York University, 2013, 511; 3556981
Abstract (Summary)

Titled "Processing tongzhi Imaginaries: Chinese Queer Representation in the Global Mediascape," this dissertation takes a queer theory/cultural studies approach to examine the production and consumption of queer representations in Chinese-language film and media, particularly those produced in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China. By underlining a cultural studies approach, this thesis adopts an interdisciplinary method, bringing together scholarship and materials—in both English and Chinese—from a multitude of academic fields, including film/media studies, gender/queer studies, sociology, anthropology, performance studies, literary criticisms, and so on. By doing so, this project reflects the complicated processes through which Chinese tongzhi/queer imaginaries take shape along the axes of the thesis's four main themes: the Chinese familial system, camp aesthetic, Chinese opera, and documentary film. Locating tonghzi/queer agency within the intricate negotiation between the individual, the local, the regional, and the global, this thesis challenges the conception that perceives the local as the opposite of the global, and that conveniently ignores the more complex, multi-directional interactions involving not only the global but also the regional and the individual in any local articulations of tongzhi /queer agency. In so doing this thesis further contests the rhetoric that either equates Western gay identity with modernity and Asian homosexualities with tradition in its articulation of a "global gay" identity, or that conversely sees the local tongzhi/queer movement as merely a neocolonial embodiment of the Western-dominated global gay movement devoid of local agency. Especially evident throughout this dissertation is my strong emphasis on the cultural histories specific to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China. I map out the social economies imperative to the production of queer images in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and I also analyze the historical moment of queer imagery emerging from the margins of the Mainland Chinese society. I consider this dissertation as first and foremost a historically embedded project, which admittedly means to counter the insensitivity to local histories underlying certain cross-cultural queer interpretations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zhang, Zhen
Commitee: Allen, Richard, Berry, Chris, Straayer, Chris, Zito, Angela
School: New York University
Department: Cinema Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies, LGBTQ studies, Film studies
Keywords: Camp aesthetics, Chinese film/media, Diaspora, Documentary film, Globalization, Tongzhi/queer
Publication Number: 3556981
ISBN: 978-1-267-99559-9
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