AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 673

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Session 673: Roundtable: South-South Encounters: Women Writers, Activists, and Educators Across Early 20th-Century Asia

Organizer: Shobna Nijhawan, University of York, Canada

Discussants: Shobna Nijhawan, University of York, Canada; Chie Ikeya, Rutgers University, USA; Karen M. Teoh, Stonehill College, USA; Sarah Frederick, Boston University, USA; Joan Judge, York University, Canada

This cross-border roundtable (which includes India, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and China) examines the intersections of various feminist, nationalist, and maternal-imperialist movements across Asia and between Asian colonies and (emerging) nations. It explores in particular the role of periodical print media in circulating ideas about women's movements and calling “new women” into being. In considering the various axes for international connections among women's movements and individual women, the presentations will focus on "South-South connections": Chie Ikeya examines the writings of a Burmese nationalist-feminist editor and her relationship to transnational women’s movements. The importance of Sino-Japanese circuits of textual and visual sources is discussed by Joan Judge with particular reference to gynecology, prostitution, and photography in Chinese women's journals. Sarah Frederick analyzes travel writings on China published in Japanese women's periodicals. Shobna Nijhawan investigates Hindi women's periodicals in the light of emerging concepts of "global colonial sisterhood". Karen Teoh explores how Chinese publications for girls' schools in British Malaya and Singapore helped circulate notions of modernization and ethno-national belonging among overseas Chinese women. Individual papers will be pre-circulated among the panelists. In the session each panelist will present her analysis and make connections to the other papers. A minimum of thirty minutes will be left for general discussion. The panel will be chaired by Joan Judge, (author of The Precious Raft of History, Stanford University Press, 2008), who is currently involved in an international collaborative project on Chinese women’s journals in the early 20th century.