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Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing ChinaXue Shaohui (1866-1911) and the Era of Reform$
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Nanxiu Qian

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804792400

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804792400.001.0001

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Translating the Female West to Expand Chinese Women’s Space

Translating the Female West to Expand Chinese Women’s Space

(p.159) Five Translating the Female West to Expand Chinese Women’s Space
Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing China

Nanxiu Qian

Stanford University Press

After the bloody termination of the Hundred Days in 1898, Xue and Shoupeng continued advancing the 1898 goals through translating Western literature, histories, and science. Their most important project was the compilation of the Biographies of Foreign Women (Waiguo lienü zhuan), the first systematic introduction of foreign women to the Chinese readership. This chapter argues that the Foreign Women resulted from women reformers’ desire to break the longstanding demarcation between the “inner” and “outer” domains and to reposition the ideal “woman” in an ideal space, at home and in society, within the intersecting frameworks of the family, the state, and the world. In the process, foreign women’s lives served not only as a model for Chinese women but also as a collective site where different visions of ideal womanhood were contested.

Keywords:   Foreign Women, ideal womanhood, inner domain, outer domain, women’s space, Women’s state, goddess, Confucianism, Daoism, Laozi

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