Tuesday May 16, 2023

Dong Xian

There’s power in being the king who sits upon the throne, but also power in being the throne upon who the king sits. This was true as ever  in the court of Emperor Ai in Han Dynasty China in 22 BC. We’re going to be talking about someone who in 21 short years of life rose from a low class status to being one of the most powerful imperial officials in China – all by becoming the favorite of the Emperor. Their passion was so renowned it led to the creation of what remains a Chinese idiomatic expression for homosexuality. But we’ll also be talking about prevailing bisexuality in the Han dynasty court, the reception culture of this story both in China and outside it then and now, and how people in both China and the West have adopted this story.

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Howard Chiang, “Epistemic Modernity and the Emergence of Homosexuality in China: Epistemic Modernity and the Emergence of Homosexuality in China,” Gender & History 22, no. 3 (November 2010): 629–57, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0424.2010.01612.

Bret Hinsch, Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China, Reprint edition (Berkely, Calif.: University of California Press, 1992)

Martin W. Huang, “Male-Male Sexual Bonding and Male Friendship in Late Imperial China,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 22, no. 2 (2013): 312–31

M. P. Lau and M. L. Ng, “Homosexuality in Chinese Culture,” Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 13, no. 4 (December 1, 1989): 465–88, https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00052053

Tze-lan Deborah Sang, “Translating Homosexuality: The Discourse of Tongxing’ai in Republican China (1912–1949),” in Translating Homosexuality: The Discourse of Tongxing’ai in Republican China (1912–1949) (Duke University Press, 2000), 276–304

James D. Seymour, review of Review of Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China, by Bret Hinsch, Journal of the History of Sexuality 3, no. 1 (1992): 141–43

Ping-Hsuan Wang, “I’m a ‘Cut-Sleeve’: Coming out from a POC Perspective,” Narrative Inquiry 31, no. 2 (July 12, 2021): 338–57, https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.19088.wan

Intersections: Interview with Samshasha, Hong Kong’s First Gay Rights Activist and Author,” accessed May 15, 2023, http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue4/interview_mclelland.html.

Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, downloaded from WFMU's Free Music Archive and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Our outro music is by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicsdesigner. 

 

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