Presentation Title: The War Within: Queer Identity Formation in Contemporary Chinese Culture and Literature

Section: Becoming One? Connecting Across the Divide III

Location: , 311

Date & Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 2:30pm - 2:45pm


This presentation is drawn from my senior Chinese thesis which analyzes the contemporary Queer Chinese novel, Beyond Brothers, (2010) by He Yaohui. I focus on the struggles and conflicts of queer identity formation for the 八零后 (balinghou) generation or the group of Chinese born in the eighties. I argue that the lives of the two main protagonists of the novel, Xiang Lei and He Fei, serve as allegories for how current queer men discover and come to terms with their own sexual identity and the means they go about finding potential partners. Key concepts I analyze in the novel regarding queer identity formation include: the role of internet in identity discovery, the conflicts and contradictions involved in efforts to assimilate into a heteronormative Chinese society, the queer sexuality of the two characters, the significance of a tone of loneliness in the novel and the literary devices used to convey it, and the use of real historical events in character development. 

Type of Presentation: Individual oral

Oral presenters
Presentation Area: Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Topic: China/Asia

Arts presenters

Class Project
Course name: 
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Presenter Information
Presenter(s): Huynh, Tony Hans
Major(s): Chinese; Economics
Class Year(s): 2013

Sponsor(s): Du, Hang, Moran, Thomas E.
Dept(s): Chinese

Moderator: ,