Situating Sexualities: Queer Representation in Taiwanese Fiction, Film and Public Culture

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Hong Kong University Press, May 1, 2003 - Social Science - 372 pages
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This is the first book in English to analyse the stunning rise to prominence of cultures of dissident sexuality in Taiwan during the 1990s. Positioned at the crossroads of queer theory and postcolonial cultural studies, this book intervenes in current debates on sexuality and globalization to argue that the current emergence of public, dissident sexualities in non-Western locations like Taiwan cannot be reduced to the effects of homogenizing 'Westernization'. Instead, Situating Sexualities approaches the queer sexualities represented in recent Taiwanese fiction, film and public culture as dynamic formations that combine local knowledge with globalizing discourses on gay and lesbian identity to produce sexualities that are multiple, shifting and inherently hybrid. Equally, the book pushes out the limits of 'queer' to challenge the Eurocentrism of much queer theory to date. Consistently critical of essentializing accounts of 'Chinese' culture, the book nevertheless highlights some of the important ways in which Taiwanese formations of dissident sexuality differ from the familiar Euro-American formations.

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Page 14 - Both Rudy Bleys and Siobhan Somerville argue convincingly for the constitutive intermeshing of the sexological invention of the homosexual with what Bleys calls 'the ethnographic imagination'. 47 In this argument, Foucault's nineteenth-century homosexual, who was 'a type of life, a life form, and a morphology, with an indiscreet anatomy and possibly a mysterious physiology' was enabled by the invention of 'race' and by the history of colonialism, which in turn compelled that invention.

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About the author (2003)

Fran Martin is Lecturer in Cinema Studies at La Trobe University, Australia. She has published extensively on queer politics and culture in Taiwan.

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