Loved and lost : the adolescent girls' same-sex romance and Chinese sexual modernity
Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lingnan University
5:30 p.m. -- 7:30 p.m.
The adolescent girls' Same-sex romance narrative has a history in Chinese cultural production stretching back to the 1920s and 1930s, with the translation of Japanese and European sexology. Recent scholarship has discussed the historical context of this narrative initial emergence (Tze-lan D. Sang, The Emerging Lesbian, 2003), but little has been written to date on its contemporary manifestations. The story of the same-sex teenage girl-friend loved and lost continues to be reproduced and enthusiastically consumed across multiple sites of transnational Chinese popular and elite culture, from short stories from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the People Republic of China to a recent spate of free-to-air Taiwanese TV series and telemovies. These programmes are accessed by audiences in Hong Kong and mainland China via Internet-based VCD/ DVD sales and informal FTP file transfers between fans, and Internet-based discussion of these programmes has produced some very lively "discursive communities" across all three Chinese regions. What conclusions can be drawn from the enduring popularity of this narrative in Chinese public cultures today? This paper discusses literary, televisual and Internet-based manifestations of the narrative, and is interested, first, in the intra-Asian aspect of the narrative history, particularly in cultural flows between Japan and China / Taiwan . Second, I consider how contemporary instances of the narrative construct gender and sexual identity in relation to memory and loss, and how audiences' computer-mediated interaction with the television programmes enables particular modes of gendered and sexual identification.
Martin, F. (2003, December 18). Loved and lost: The adolescent girls' same-sex romance and Chinese sexual modernity. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/213