Photography, performance, and the making of female images in modern China
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AbstractCarefully examining the photographs of courtesans, Cixi the Empress, and dan (the male opera performers impersonating female characters) within their cultural economy in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century China, this article explores the relations between photography as a newly imported leisure activity and the making of female images within the new order of China's modern society. Photography's direct replication of reality and its infinite reproductive capacity characterize the complex relationship between reality and representation in modern society, and also render a new cultural space for identity performance. Examining a rich array of issues including prostitution, cross-dressing, fashion,female deification, and the dynamics between gender ideology and female agency, this article analyzes the instability of gender meanings in photographs of women. A coherent pattern of "seeing," or a coherent modern China, is still in the making.
All Author(s) ListPang LW
Journal nameJournal of Women's History
Volume Number17
Issue Number4
Pages56 - 85
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Web of Science Subject CategoriesHistory; Women's Studies

Last updated on 2020-07-07 at 01:21