Cross-Gender China, the outcome of more than twenty years of theatrical and sociological research, deconstructs the cultural implications of cross-gender performance in today's China.
The recent revival in male-to-female cross-gender nandan performance in Chinese theatre raises a multitude of questions: it may suggest new gender dynamics, or new readings of old aesthetic traditions in new socio-cultural contexts. Interrogating the positions of the gender being performed and the gender doing the performing, this volume gives a broad cultural account of the contexts in which this unique performance style has found new life.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Cultural Obsession
The Making of China’s National Icon
The Rise of an All-Female Utopia
National Identity and the Formation of the Gender Aesthetics
Chapter 3. Mao’s "Gender Trouble"
The Downfall of the Cross-Gender Performance Tradition
From Theatre to Reality: Normalization of Female Masculinity
The Production of a Social Taboo
Chapter 4. The Revival
White Faced Gentleman: The Unofficial Return of Nandan
"Natural Selection" in the Aesthetic Regime: The Return of Traditional Femininity
The Mainstreaming of Drag in Popular Media
Chapter 5. The New Generation
"Two Spirited" M. Butterfly
The Superwoman Within
Chapter 6. Rebel or Follow
When Theatre and Biology Intersect
Interplay: Desires, Identities and Transgression
Make Believe: Creating a Psychological Truth
The Performed and the Innate
The Drama of Reality
Sexual Artifice in Gender Transgression
Chapter 7. Conclusion
Major interview questions
List of Interviewees
Huai Bao aka H.B. Dhawa is a post-doctoral fellow of the Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto.