Title: Aspects of the Female Intellectuals: Fictional Characters, Writers, Activists and Archivists
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Ruttapond Swanpitak, The University of Sydney (Australia) and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
Zhifan Sheng, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (presenter)
Nim-yan Wong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (presenter, chair, discussant)
This panel examines the four aspects of female intellectuals in twentieth-century China, which lay beyond the current definitions of the mere ‘talented women’ or the Bluestocking circle, and the legacy of these aspects for succeeding women intellectuals. It looks at how female writers Chi Li 池莉 and Tie Ning 鐵凝 subject their heroines to moral and sexual transgressions in the PRC; how women writers Zhu Tianxin 朱天文 and Zhu Tianxin 朱天心, the two sisters, represent the self-identities of modern Taiwanese female intellectuals affected from the cultural hybridity and the postcolonial background; how He Zhen’s 何震 work on the journal Natural Justice《天義報》contributes to our current understanding of feminism; and how archivist Xiao Si’s 小思 ongoing resistance to the academic mainstream of Hong Kong literary studies resulted in forms of female scholarly works, including the development of personal archives, electronic databases, painstaking documentations and editorships. The brief overview of the four aspects focuses on a seeming paradox of female intellectuals—a tendency to subject their rationality in the form of complexity, unpredictability, fractal boundaries and chaos.