Gender Roles in Regards to Religions in China

Topic : Gender Roles in Regards to Religions in China

Paper Instructions:

Paper Format: APA

# of Sources: 5 sources 

In the paper you must present your thesis statement (your main argument), supported by well-organized evidences from your research.  You can certainly modify your earlier abstract and topic.  You can also elaborate your response journal or presentations, or you may find something more interesting as a result of discussions, but you have to go beyond these to do your own library research.  You are more than welcome to turn in your thesis statements and turn in your outlines well before the final due date to seek the instructor’s advice.

For paper: It must show:

  1. Clear and original thesis
  2. Use evidence from your research to support your thesis
  3. Comprehensive and to-the-point analysis of the evidence to support the main thesis
  4. Good format (including notes and bibliography) and organization of the paper. 


    Required Textbooks/Sources

    Susan Brownell, Jeffrey Wasserstrom eds., Chinese Femininities/Chinese Masculinities: A Reader. University of California Press, 2002.

    Jinhua Jia, Xiaofei Kang, and Ping Yao, eds., Gendering Chinese Religion: Subject, Identity and Body. State University Press, 2014.

    Other readings can be found on blackboard, under Course Documents, or through Gelman library’s e-databases.

    Class Schedule:

    1/15 Overview of course, methodology and review of Chinese history.

    1/22 Where do we start?

    Joan Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis (JSTOR, Library e-database);” Rita Gross, “Studying Women and Religion: Conclusions Twenty-Five Years After,” (blackboard); Brownnell and Wasserstrom, “Introduction,” Jia, Kang & Yao, 1-22.

    1/29 Cosmology, Gender and Space

    Alison Black, “Gender and cosmology in Chinese correlative thinking,” in Gender and Religion ed., C.W. Bynum; Guisso, “Thunder Over the Lake: The Five Classics and The Perception of Woman in Early China;” Francesca Bray, “The Inner Quarters: Oppression or Freedom?” in House Home Family: Living and Being Chinese, ed Ronald G Knapp and Kai-yin Lo, 259-79 (blackboard)

    2/5 The Gendered Body

    Furth, “Blood, Body and Gender” and Chen, “Embodying Qi”” in Brownell and Wasserstrom, 291-330; Raz, “Birthing the Self,” and Valussi, “Female Alchemy,” in Jia, Kang and Yao, 183-224.

     2/12 Marriage, Chastity, Law and Gendered Identity 

    Theiss, “Femininity in Flux: Gendered Virtue and Social Conflict in the Ming-Qing Court Room”; Sommer, “Dangerous Males, Vulnerable Males, and Polluted Males: The Regulation of Masculinity in Qing Dynasty Law;” Mann, “Grooming a daughter,” in Brownell and Wasserstrom, 47-119.

    2/19 Women in Buddhist and Daoist Tradition

    Yao, “Tang Women in the Transformation of Buddhist Filiality,” Grant, “Writing Oneself into the Tradition,” Jia, “The Identity of Tang Daoist Priestesses,” Cheung, “A Religious Menopausal Ritual.” In Jia, Kang and Yao, 25-70, 103-32.

    2/26 Deities, Spirits and Female Power

     Sangren, P. Steven. “Female Gender in Chinese Religious Symbols: Kuan-yin, Ma Tsu, and the ‘Eternal Mother'” Signs 9 (Autumn 1983): 5-25 (Gelman E-database); Emily Ahern, “The Power and Pollution of Chinese Women.” (blackboard); Xiaofei Kang, “Foxes and Sprit Mediums” (blackboard); Erin Cline, “Female Spirit Mediums and Religious Authority in Contemporary Southeastern China” in Modern China 36:5 (2010), 520-555 (Gelman E-database).

    3/4  Christianity, the West, and Changing Gendered Practices

    Kang, “Women and the Religious Question,” 491-502 (blackboard); Kwok Pui-lan, “Chinese Women and the Protestant Christianity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.” (blackboard) Patricia Ebrey, “Gender and Sinology: Shifting Western Interpretations of Footbinding:’ in Late Imperial China, vol. 20.2 (1999), 1-34; Angela Zito, “Secularizing the Pain of Footbinding in China,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 75.1 (2007), 1-24. (both in Gelman ArticlePLUS).

    3/11 Abstract and Bibliography Report and Exchange

    3/14-18 Spring Break

     3/25          Modern Reconstruction of Women, Gender and Religion

    Kang, “Women and the Religious Question,” 502-17; Lu Xun, “New Year’s Sacrifice” (; Glosser, “The Truth I have learned” Brownell and Wasserstrom, 120-144; Emily Honig, “Christianity, Feminism, and Communism: The Life and Times of Deng Yuzhi.” (blackboard).

    Women, Gender and Religion in the Communist Revolution

    4/1 Roxanne Prazniak, “Mao and the Women Question in an Age of Green Politics: Some Critical Reflections,” 23-58 (blackboard); Kang, “Women and the Religious Question,” 517-32,

    Kang, “Revisiting White-haired Girl” in Jia, Kang and Yao, 133-156; Zhao Shuli, “The Marriage of Young Blacky.” (blackboard)

    Women and Religion in post-Mao times and in Greater China

    4/8 Kang, “Women and the Religious Question,” 532-end; Julia Huang, “Gendered Charisma in the Buddhist Tzu Chi (Ciji) Movement, Nova Religion 12.2 (2008) (Edatabase); Bunkenborg, Mikkel. “Popular religion inside out: Gender and ritual revival in a Hebei township.” China Information 26.3 (2012): 359-376 (edatabase); Wong, “Negotiating between Two Patriarchies,” in Jia, Kang and Yao, 157-82.

    4/15 Guest Lecture by Professor Anna Sun: “The Return of Confucianism in Contemporary China.” Sigur Center of Asian Studies, Suit 505, 12:30-2pm

     4/22 Gender, Ethnicity and Religion

    Louisa Schein, “Gender and Internal Orientalism in China;” (blackboard) Litzinger, “Tradition and the Gender of Civility,” in Brownell and Wasserstrom, 385-34; Ben Hillman and Lee-Ann Henfry, “Macho Minority: Masculinity and Ethnicity on the Edge of Tibet,” Modern China

    Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr., 2006), pp. 251-272 (Gelman e-database)


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