Chinese Women's History

  • From Peggy Caffrey 11 Feb 1999

    Our Chinese historian gets a journal, Research on Women in Modern Chinese History, with articles in both English and Chinese, published in Taiwan, he says.It contains bibliographies and here are some entries your students may be able to find:


    Tani Barlow, ed., Gender Politics in Modern China (Duke Univ. Press, 1993);

    Frank Dikotter, Sex, Culture, and Modernity in China: Medical Sciences and the Construction of Social Identities in the Early Republican Period (Univ. Honolulu Press, 1995)

    Harriet Evans, "Defining Difference: The 'Scientific' Construction of Sexuality and Gender in the People's Republic of China," Signs 20, 2(1995): 357-394.

    Christina Gilmartin et al, eds., Engendering China: Women, Culture and the State (Harvard Univ. Press, 1994)

    Gael Graham, "Exercising Control: Sports and Physical Education in American Protestant Mission Schools in China," Signs 20 (1994); also Gael Graham, "The Cumberland Incident of 1928: Gender, Nationalism, and Social Change in American Protestant Mission Schools in China, 1880-1930," J. Women's History 6 (1994).

    See also Li Xiaojiang and Xiaodan Zhang, "Creating a Space for Women: Women's Studies in China in the 1980's," Signs 20 (1994): 137-51.

    There is also Lucie Ching, Charlotte Furth, and Hon-ming Yip, Eds., Women in China: A Bibliography of Available English Language Materials (UC Berkeley, 1984,--it was being revised and updated, so perhaps that is out now.

  • From Hsiu-Yun UW Madison 11 Feb 1999

    This is certainly not a complete list of Chinese women's history, since what I have been collecting is based on my research project with a few additional pet interest items. Nor am I including most sources in Chinese in the following list, since they are usually less accessible in many ways. (If you need secondary sources in Chinese, let me know.) I hope this will be useful. At least, it should prove that there are studies on Chinese women's history. Cheers.


    --Journal of Asian Studies:
    --Asian Studies Virtual library:

    Bibliographies/Guide books:

    Women in China : bibliography of available English language materials. Compiled by Lucie Cheng, Charlotte Furth, and Hon-ming Yip. Berkeley, Calif. : Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Center for Chinese Studies, c1984.

    [a new 1998 edition of this bibliography has just been published by the Institute of Modern History of the Academia Sinica, Taipei. contact the Institute for purchasing a copy or publication exchange.]

    Women in China: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography. Compiled by Karen T. Wei. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press,1984.

    Gail Hershatter, Emily Honig, Susan Mann, and Lisa Rofel Eds. Guide to Women's Studies in China. Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley. 1998.

    Hua R. Lan, and Venessa L. Fong, Eds. Women in Republican China, A Source Book. M.E. Sharpe. 1998(9?).


    Research on Women in Modern Chinese History. [mostly in Chinese but occasionally has some English articles] Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taipei.


    There are quite a few articles on Chinese women (or otherwise related to gender issues) in periodicals such as Journal of Asian Studies, SIGNS, Late Imperial China, Chinese Science, Positions, Women's History, Chinese Studies in History, and a few others.


    Phyllis Andors. The Unfinished Liberation of Chinese Women, 1949-1980. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press,1983.

    Elisabeth J. Croll. Chinese Women Since Mao. London: Zed Books ; Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, 1983.

    Frank Dikotter. Sex, Culture and Modernity in China: Medical Science and the Construction of Sexual Identities in the Early Republican Period. London : Hurst & Co., 1995.

    Richard W. Guisso and Stanley Johannesen Eds. Women in China : Current Directions in Historical Scholarship. Youngstown, N.Y. : Philo Press, 1981.

    Gail Hershatter. Dangerous Pleasures: Prostitution and Modernity in Twentieth-Century Shanghai. Berkeley:Univ. of California Press, 1997.

    Emily Honig & Gail Hershatter. _Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980s._ Stanford Univ. Press,1988.)

    Jane Hunter. The Gospel of Gentility: American Women Missionaries in Turn-of-The-Century China. Yale, 1984.

    Maria Jaschok and Suzanne Miers Eds. Women and Chinese Patriarchy: Submission, Servitude and Escape. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Univ. Press,1994.

    Kay Ann Johnson. Women, the Family, and Peasant Revolution in China. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1983.

    Bettina Liebowitz Knapp. Images of Chinese Women: A Westerner's View. N.Y.: Whitston, 1992.

    Ono Kazuko. Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 1850-1950. Stanford, 1989. [translated from the 1978 Japanese version]

    Pui-Lan Kwok. Chinese Women and Christianity 1860-1927. Scholars Press, 1992.

    Susan Mann. Precious Records: Women in China's Long Eighteenth Century. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 1997.

    Lisa Ann Raphals. Sharing the Light: Representations of Women and Virtue in Early China. State Univ. of New York Press,1998.

    Agnes Smedley. Portraits of Chinese Women in Revolution. N.Y.: Feminist Press, 1976.

    Margery Wolf. Revolution Postponed: Women in Contemporary China. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 1985.

    Margery Wolf, Roxane Witke Eds. Women in Chinese Society. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 1975.

    Marilyn Blatt Young ed. Women in China: Studies in Social Change and Feminism. Ann Arbor, Center for Chinese Studies, Univ. of Michigan, 1973.

    Judy Yung. Unbinding the Feet, Unbinding Their Lives: Social Change for Chinese Women in San Francisco, 1902-1945. U of California Press, 1990.

  • From: Alexandra Nickliss 11 Feb 1999

    You might start with Judy Yung's, Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco.

  • From Rebekah Crow 11 Feb 1999

    Try _Wild Swans, three daughters of China_ although it is recent history (this century) it is an interesting history covering three generations of women....

  • From Gael Graham 11 Feb 1999 ...Primary Sources:

    Chang, Pang Mei Natasha _Bound Feet and Western Dress_

    Cheng, Nien _Life and Death in Shanghai_

    Daiyun, Yue and Carolyn Wakeman, Eds. _To the Storm: the Odyssey of a Revolutionary Chinese Woman (Calif., 1985).

    Luo, Zi-Ping _A Generation Lost_

    Pan, Lynn _Tracing it Home_

    Pruitt, Ida _A Daughter of Han: The Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman_ (Stanford, 1967)

    Pruitt, Ida _Old Madame Yin: A Memoir of Peking Life_ (Stanford, 1979).

    Wong, Jan _Red China Blues_(Wong is Canadian, lived in China).

    Zhenhua, Zhai _A Red Flower of China_

    Some Secondary Sources:

    (Ed. Note: [Combined w/ from list subscribers]other suggestions)

    Bray, Francesca _Technology and Gender: Fabrics of Power in Late Imperial China_(California, 1997).

    Davin, Delia _Woman-Work_

    Ebrey, Patricia _The Inner Quarters: Marriage and the Lives of Chinese Women in the Sung Period_.

    Gilmartin, Christina, et al, ed. _Engendering China: Women, Culture and the State_(Harvard, 1994)

    Gilmartin, Christina, et al, ed. _Gender and Revolution in China's Roaring Twenties_

    Gilmartin, Christina Kelley _Engendering The Chinese Revolution: Radical Women, Communist Politics and Mass Movements in the 1920s_ (California, 1995)

    Guisso, Richard W. and Stanley Johannesen, Eds. _Women in China: Current Directions in Historical Scholarship_(1981)

    Hershatter, Gail and Emily Honig _Personal Voices_ (Stanford, 1988)

    Johnson, Kay Ann _Women, the Family, and Peasant Revolution in China_

    Kazuko, Ono _Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution 1850-1950_ (Stanford, 1989)

    Kingston, Maxine Hong _The Woman Warrior_

    Ko, Dorothy, Ed. _Gender and the Politics of Chinese History-; Read intro chapter

    McMahon, Keith _Misers, Shrews, and Polygamists: Sexuality and Male-Female Relations in 18th c Chinese Fiction_

    Mann, Susan _Precious Records: Women in China's Long Eighteenth Century_(Stanford, 1997).

    Siu, Bobby _Women of China_

    Smedley, Agnes _Portraits of Chinese Women in Revolution_

    Stacey, Judith and Margery Wolf, Eds. _Patriarchy Revolution Postponed: Women in Contemporary China (Stanford, 1985).

    Stockyard, Janice _Daughters of the Canton Delta: Marriage Patterns and Economic Strategies in South China, 1860-1930_(1989).


    "Chinese Women's History" _Journal of Women's History: Special Edition_ Winter, 1997 (Vol. 8, No. 4)

    _Intersections:Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context_ Refereed online journal at http://www
    been on the web since Sept. 1998
    _Intersections_ includes:

    Donald, Stephanie _Mapping China_ 'Considering the Presentation of Statistical and Cultural Data for Large Readerships' (including issues concerning women)

    Evans, Harriet 'The Language of Liberation: Gender and Jiefang in Early CCP Discourse'

    Jacka, Tamara and Jasko Petkovic 'Ethnography and Video: Researching Women in China's Floating Population'

    McLaren, Annie 'Crossing Gender Boundaries in China: Nushu Narratives.'

    Other Suggestions:

    Look for work by authors Ann Waltner, Rubie S. Watson, Evelyn S. Rawski

    Look for journal articles by Charlotte Furth and Katherine Carlitz, in journals such as _Late Imperial China_, the Journal of Asian Studies_, or _Modern China_