Queer Politics and Sexual Modernity in Taiwan

Queer Asia

Book 5
Hong Kong University Press
Free sample

Examining the deployments of gender and sexuality over the past five decades in Taiwan, this book chronicles a queer historiography that illuminates the production of sexual identities and the formation of sexual modernity. Through primary research and historical investigation, Hans Tao-Ming Huang offers a contextualised study of Pai Hsien-yung’s Crystal Boys, one of Taiwan’s first recognized gay novels, as he critically engages disparate discursive fields of dominant legal and medical discourses of sex, lesbian and gay activism, as well as mainstream feminist politics. He shows that the construction of male homosexuality as a term of social exclusion is historically linked to the state’s banning of prostitution, further delineating a moral-sexual order that has come to be buttressed by the hegemonic rise of anti-prostitution state feminism since the 1990s. In exploring the imbrications of male homosexuality, prostitution and feminism in Taiwanese national culture, Huang boldly ventures a politics of sexual dissidence that contests state-inspired heteronormativity.
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About the author

Hans Tao-Ming Huang is an assistant professor in the English Department of National Central University, Taiwan, where he is also affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Sexualities.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Hong Kong University Press
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Published on
Aug 1, 2011
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9789888083077
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
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This content is DRM protected.
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This book sheds light on 'contact moments' between Japanese male-queer culture and that of the West in the postwar period, and critiques various contemporary examples of persistent Orientalism and nativism. Focusing on a range of Japanese as well as English male-queer materials including magazines, memoirs and cybertexts, Suganuma shows how the interactions of the two cultures affected the subject formation process of queer selves. The instances examined range from the hentai magazines of the 1950s and their depiction of men who had sex with foreign men (mostly American servicemen); the depiction of race in the magazine Barazoku; John Whittier Treat's memoir of his sabbatical in Japan and his depiction of his own Orientalism; the writings and strategies of OCCUR and Fushimi in the 1990s; and the GJN news site. The author sees the depiction of and reaction to Japanese men who had sex with foreigners in the hentai magazines as part of a larger pattern of representation manifesting gender anxieties among Japanese men (both heterosexual and homosexual) who found themselves feminized by defeat in the war. He draws on Dyer's understanding of whiteness as a flexible default position in his discussion of Barazoku, but argues that in this case Japaneseness is the default position and whiteness is othered. In his final chapter, he argues for an understanding of the activities of GJN also as a space of mediation rather than simply as a wholesale importation of American or 'global gay' culture. Suganuma argues that the binaries of cross-cultural comparison (local/global, Japan/West, acts/identities, and us/them) can be generative and productive as well as repressive and reductive.
This book sheds light on 'contact moments' between Japanese male-queer culture and that of the West in the postwar period, and critiques various contemporary examples of persistent Orientalism and nativism. Focusing on a range of Japanese as well as English male-queer materials including magazines, memoirs and cybertexts, Suganuma shows how the interactions of the two cultures affected the subject formation process of queer selves. The instances examined range from the hentai magazines of the 1950s and their depiction of men who had sex with foreign men (mostly American servicemen); the depiction of race in the magazine Barazoku; John Whittier Treat's memoir of his sabbatical in Japan and his depiction of his own Orientalism; the writings and strategies of OCCUR and Fushimi in the 1990s; and the GJN news site. The author sees the depiction of and reaction to Japanese men who had sex with foreigners in the hentai magazines as part of a larger pattern of representation manifesting gender anxieties among Japanese men (both heterosexual and homosexual) who found themselves feminized by defeat in the war. He draws on Dyer's understanding of whiteness as a flexible default position in his discussion of Barazoku, but argues that in this case Japaneseness is the default position and whiteness is othered. In his final chapter, he argues for an understanding of the activities of GJN also as a space of mediation rather than simply as a wholesale importation of American or 'global gay' culture. Suganuma argues that the binaries of cross-cultural comparison (local/global, Japan/West, acts/identities, and us/them) can be generative and productive as well as repressive and reductive.
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