Embodied Modernities: Corporeality, Representation, and Chinese Cultures
304pp. July 2006
Embodied Modernities: Corporeality, Representation, and Chinese Cultures
Editor: Martin, Fran; Heinrich, Ari Larissa;
From feminist philosophy to genetic science, scholarship in recent years has succeeded in challenging many entrenched assumptions about the material and biological status of human bodies. Likewise in the study of Chinese cultures, accelerating globalization and the resultant hybridity have called into question previous assumptions about the boundaries of Chinese national and ethnic identity. The problem of identifying a single or definitive referent for the "Chinese body" is thornier than ever.

By facilitating fresh dialogue between fields as diverse as the history of science, literary studies, diaspora studies, cultural anthropology, and contemporary Chinese film and cultural studies, Embodied Modernities addresses contemporary Chinese embodiments as they are represented textually and as part of everyday life practices. The book is divided into two sections, each with a dedicated introduction by the editors. The first examines "Thresholds of Modernity" in chapters on Chinese body cultures in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—a period of intensive cultural, political, and social modernization that led to a series of radical transformations in how bodies were understood and represented.The second section on "Contemporary Embodiments" explores body representations across the People’s Republic of China,Taiwan, and Hong Kong today.

Contributors: Chris Berry, Louise Edwards, Maram Epstein, Larissa Heinrich, Olivia Khoo, Fran Martin, Jami Proctor-Xu, Tze-lan D. Sang, Teri Silvio, Mark Stevenson, Cuncun Wu, Angela Zito, John Zou.

20 illus.

"A timely intervention in the field that rewrites the history of Chinese modernity from the point of view of body knowledge in relation to increasingly fractured self-understandings of Chineseness. . . . It is an outstanding book that no scholar interested in theories of corporeality or in modern Chinese cultures can afford to overlook." —China Review International (14:2, fall 2007)

"Opens up a welcome discussion of very diverse representations of Chinese modernity. . . . Embodied Modernities deserves to be widely read." —H-Net Reviews (April 2007)

Editor: Martin, Fran; Heinrich, Ari Larissa;
Fran Martin is lecturer in cultural studies at the University of Melbourne. Ari Larissa Heinrich is lecturer in Chinese studies at the University of New South Wales.
Read the table of contents and/or the introduction (PDF).