Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postcolonial China

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by Hongwei Bao

A quantum leap in scholarship on queer China, offering keen insights on the PRC’s socialist legacy. This very timely, well-written and insightful exploration of gay identity and queer activism in the People’s Republic of China today is more than a study of 'queer China’ through the lens of male homosexuality; it also examines identity, power and governmentality in contemporary China, as shaped by China’s historical conditions and contemporary situations. The book offers in-depth analysis of recent queer history and contemporary cultural texts plus a queer Marxist analysis of sexual identity and social movements in contemporary China, where ideological negotiations between socialism and neoliberalism are constantly played out in the formation of public cultures and intimate spheres. In doing so, it critically assesses the role of Marxism and China’s socialist legacies in shaping sexual identity, queer popular culture and political activism. Although the first of its kind from a cultural studies perspective, this interdisciplinary study speaks to scholars working in disparate fields including anthropology, sociology, media studies, film studies, political theory, and Asian Studies.

"This is a well-researched and gracefully written monograph. It is extremely accessible and digestible, integrating a wide range of theoretical positions in a nuanced assessment of the “social” in postsocialist queer China." – Howard Chiang, University of California, Davis

"This is impressive, high-quality work. The literary style is pleasant and readable, with the author’s thoughtful, engaged and gently humorous personality coming through the writing in a very agreeable way. The work’s contribution to its field is also considerable. It offers an original, theoretically engaged analysis of new empirical material on gay (and to some extent lesbian) lives, texts, histories and cultures in the People’s Republic of China today." – Fran Martin, University of Melbourne

Dr Hongwei Bao is Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He holds a PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Publication year: 2018
278 pp / 229mm x 152mm
19 b/w figures
ISBN: 978-87-7694-236-6, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-234-2, Hardback

NIAS Press