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About the project

The Humboldt-Foundation is funding in their TransCoop-Program a three-year project dealing with women’s and popular magazines in the Chinese Republican Period: A New Approach to the Popular Press in China: Gender and Cultural Production, 1904-1937.

It is a team project—initiated and coordinated by the three applicants, Barbara Mittler (Cultural Studies, Heidelberg University), Joan Judge (History and Women’s Studies, York University), and Grace Fong (Literature, McGill University) and conducted in conjunction with three more collaborators, Michel Hockx (Literature, University of London), Christian Henriot (KEY PARTNER History, École Normale Supérieure de Lettres et Sciences Humaines de Lyon), and Julia Andrews (Art History, Ohio State University).

In this project, the Chinese popular press in general and women’s magazines in particular, all based on European blueprints but significantly altering them in the process of incorporating them into the Chinese public sphere, are put under scrutiny.

The scientific project has two objectives:

  1. to develop a new approach to the rich, voluminous, and as yet, understudied Chinese popular press.
  2. to use this approach to restore historical, cultural, and gender complexity to the study of early twentieth century China.

The new medium of the popular press which first appeared at the turn of the twentieth century in China, rapidly dominated the contemporary print market and became a critical site for the production of knowledge and culture. It has rarely, however, been effectively used or systematically analyzed to date. Focusing on four influential women’s journals (Linglong, Funü zazhi, both of them digitized, and Funü Shibao and Nüzi Shijie), a key genre of the popular press, the project studies the popular press as integral to broader social and cultural contexts.

Part of the project’s aims is to develop a complex database and index both of the new genres and terminologies, and of the images to be found in these four women’s magazines. Our work on this index is based on the Jindai baokan mulu index in CrossAsia and the Academia Sinica index for the Funü Zazhi but expands these (partly faulty) indices. It adds a number of categories and inserts translations of all the title entries as well. It also includes visuals and advertisements in the indexing and tagging which existing indices do not. This work was started by the research assistants with the help of Zoho Sheets. We have also set up a number of informative websites on selected women’s magazines which it would be worthwhile to incorporate in a larger framework (e.g. http://www.sino.uni-heidelberg.de/womag/).

For more information about the project's activities please go to the website of Prof. J. Judge.

To acces the database please follow this link (comig soon).

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