The website of Chinese-born director and writer Evans Chan introduces users to each of his film projects, provides background information about the director, and presents still images from each of his main works. Chan has produced both narrative and documentary film, based on issues of national identity and diaspora, gender and sexuality, and artist biography. From the home page, Chan's film projects are listed chronologically: clicking on any film title leads users to a dedicated page, from where it is possible to access notes on the synopsis of the film, a director biography, soundtrack information (Chan is known for his use of music in his films), cast and crew information, an interview with Chan on the project, and film images.
Despite its outward simplicity, the site can sometimes be slow to load, although it is refreshing to access such personal reflections from a filmmaker. As a whole, the resource would be of interest to any scholar of Chinese film, or of the experiences of diaspora (Chan was born in China, but raised on Hong Kong and Macao, and now lives in New York).
AsiaPacifiQueer is a collaboration between scholars from Australia and New Zealand who are researching queer cultures and peoples in the Asia-Pacific region. Its online resource reports on its conferences and workshops, introduces the main scholars in the field, and publishes calls for papers and conference announcements. From the main page of the website, users can access abstracts of past conference papers. Subjects include: queer cultures in Taiwan; the medicalisation of sexuality in contemporary Thailand; transgendered identities in post-war Japan; and Singapore's lesbian cultures and new media. The website features detailed biographies of key scholars in the field, along with their contact details. Although conference papers are not published in full, the detailed abstracts and conference programmes are an excellent source of information on current research for cultural studies and queer theory researchers in the Asian studies field. The resource would be of value to any scholar or postgraduate student with an interest in gender and sexuality in contemporary Asian cultures.
Changing China is an online collection of articles, features and news reports from the BBC on aspects of contemporary China, along with explanations of the country's recent history. From the main page, users can access a concise guide to modern China's social and economic situation, and can read archived news reports. Subjects of interest to humanities' scholars and students include: consumer culture; rural poverty; gender and sexuality; and China's new rich. The website features a special section on the 1989 Tiananmen incident, including a number of eyewitness accounts. Another section explaining the structure of the Chinese governmental system with a simple diagram and concise text may be of particular interest to undergraduate tutors. Throughout Changing China, users can watch and listen to BBC news reports. For example, the website features short reports from BBC's 'China Week', and excerpts from a special edition of 'Question Time' held in China. Audio and video material can be accessed using Windows Media Player, or RealPlayer. Changing China would be of value to students and researchers of contemporary China, and is an excellent source of classroom material (in textual, oral, photographic and video forms) for undergraduate tutors. For example, users will find a background guide to key events and personalities in China since 1949, and a similar feature explains clashes between Mainland China and Taiwan.
Yu Xuanji (844-871) was a poet from the Tang dynasty (618-907) who lived different parts of her life as a wife, a courtesan and a Buddhist nun. The Chinese Text Initiative at the University of Virginia has digitised 49 of her poems and made them available online along with an English translation. From the main page, users follow links to an extended introduction to Yu Xuanji's works by David Young, covering: available biographical information; an analysis of some of Yu Xuanji's poems; an account of the poems' significance in relation to women's lives in the Tang's dynasty; and an account of the themes of her poetry. The project is the first attempt to bring all of Yu Xuanji's poems together in English. The poems themselves are presented in the 'Text' section of the website; they appear in one page with short sections of Chinese text appearing followed by the English translation. The website also includes an acknowledgements section and a page with editorial notes. The online project would be of interest to any students and researchers of Tang Dynasty poetry. The introduction in particular is of value to scholars of women's lives in traditional China.
Dim Sum is an English language websites that covers cultural and news stories of interest to Chinese communities around the United Kingdom. From the main page, users can view sections covering issues such as: family; community; food; performance arts; lifestyle; identity; immigration; and gender. The resource can be browsed by section, or by individual issue. For example, the features' section on women covers such varying topics as: women writers; being a single Chinese woman; Western impressions of Oriental women; and the 'nushu' script in ancient China. Recent migration issues are an understandable feature of Dim Sum, including coverage of the anniversary of the Morcambe Bay disaster (where 23 cockle pickers were drowned), and conditions for recent migrants.
The resource would be of value to anyone with an interest in Chinese diasporas in the United Kingdom and around the world. As well as notices of cultural events in communities, Dim Sum covers a great many first person experiences of life in UK Chinese families, often as traditional expectations clash with the demands of modern life.
The Expanding East Asian Studies Program website makes available online a large range of teaching materials and innovative courses that place the study of East Asia in 'broad thematic, transnational, and interdisciplinary contexts'. The site is therefore a valuable resource for academics in many disciplines in addition to those specialising in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other areas of East Asian Studies. The programme ran between 2002 and 2007; it was based at the Weatherfield East Asia Institute of Columbia University and involved academics at many higher education institutions in the Northeastern United States. The home page leads to four broad sections: teaching materials and resources; syllabi; links; and information about the programme. Within each section, the materials can be accessed in various ways: region/country; category; alphabetically; and type of resource. There is also a keyword search. Categories include: philosophy, thought and religion; film; gender; visual arts; world history; world literature; Asian diasporas; contemporary Asian societies; and survey courses. Syllabi consist of short descriptions and bibliographies, while the teaching materials and resources provide information at a more detailed level, including: briefly annotated lists of instructor and student readings; useful documents as downloadable as PDF files; information on video resources; and discussion questions. The links section, which is briefly annotated, is equally useful. Overall, an excellent site full of resources and ideas for anyone teaching on East Asia at various levels in higher education; the bibliographies and links would also be useful to students.
A joint project between the University of Bristol, the University of Lincoln and Institut d'Asie Orientale, Historical Photographs of China aims to make photographs of China held in countries outside China freely available online for research and teaching purposes. Since some of the most candid pictures of the country were taken and preserved through China's turbulent past by foreigners, the resource provides a fascinating insight into Chinese social history in the early twentieth century. The pictures displayed roughly cover the period from the late nineteenth century to the nineteen forties and cover: middle class leisure and social life; the Shanghai Municipal Police; life the Maritime Customs; and treaty port life. The photographers featured are amateur ones, and range from a Hong Kong engineer taking pictures of family and friends, to a Shanghai policeman and a visiting English businessman. Users will find a huge collection of black and white images with a title description, photographer biographies, and a search facility. As well as the main collections featured in the website's sidebar, there are also additional images from other photograph collections in the 'All Images' section, although little information is given as to their source.
All in all, the website is a fascinating picture of China in the early twentieth century. Most photographs are through the lens of privileged, expatriate treaty port life, but they will be of value to anyone interested in political events, fashion, architecture, and people of early twentieth century China. The website as a whole would benefit from long-promised updates (and the completion of some textual sections), but the images as a whole are extremely easy to access.
'Intersections: gender and sexuality in Asia and the Pacific' is a full-text refereed academic ejournal. At January 2009 there are 18 themed issues online. While some issues have a strongly ethnographic/sociological flavour, there are also many with themes such as: 'Deconstructing Popular and Diasporic Images'; 'Media and the Creation of New Japanese Women'; 'Images of Women'; and 'Cultural Translations, Cultural Appropriations: Spaces, Media and Performance', among others. Contents of an average issue usually include essays, commentaries, interviews, reviews of books and art exhibitions, and poetry. The journal has many articles likely to be of interest to historians and to those working in cultural studies. Example article titles include: 'Discussing Depictions of Male Homosexuality in Japanese Girls' Comics, Gay Comics and Gay Pornography'; 'A Short History of Hentai'; 'Performing Gender in Maoist Ballet'; 'Mediating the Modern: The Magazine Josei in 1920s Japan'; 'The Fetishisation of Japanese Women in Western Fiction, 1890s-1990s'; and ''I'm Your Venus'/'You're a Rake': Gender and the Grand Narrative in Japanese Television Advertising', among others. Arcticles are also listed by geography. The website has details of the editor, Board of Management, and Advisory Board, together with details of submissions and calls for papers. The website also contains filmographies and a selected bibliography.
Intersections (ISSN 1440-9151) is a peer reviewed electronic journal from Murdoch University, Australia, which explores gender studies in an Asian context. Each issue (from 1998) features an articles section along with book reviews and occasional film reviews. Special issues cover themes such as: women's stories from Indonesia; spaces, media and performance; queer culture in Asia; Japan past and present; queer Japan; crime, punishment and violence; and globalisation and culture. Articles are presented in HTML format, with no need to download, and feature hyperlinked footnotes and email links to their authors. Individual articles of interest to humanities scholars include: gender and jiefang (liberation) in early CCP discourse; naming and resisting gayness in contemporary Thailand; the fetishisation of Japanese women in Western fiction; and gender in Japanese television advertising. Each edition of Intersections includes a link to a call for papers for future themed editions. Intersections would be of interest to any scholar or student with an interest in gender in contemporary Asia, especially in areas seldom covered by mainstream academic print literature.
Liu Xiang's Lienu Zhuan (Traditions of Exemplary Women), written at the end of the Former Han Dynasty (202 BC - 9 AD), is the oldest extant book in the Chinese tradition solely to deal with the moral education of women, promoting virtuous models of womanhood and warning of feminine wickedness. The University of Virginia's online Chinese Text Initiative has digitised the Chinese text and images from this indispensable source for scholars of Imperial China. From the main page, users can navigate to an introduction on the significance of the Lienu Zhuan, can read an illustrated digitised version of the text, and can view a version of the original text through scanned pages. Although there is no English translation to date, the (traditional) digitised Chinese characters are well presented, and each of the sections is illustrated with images from an original version. In order to read the digitised text, browsers must be able to read Big5 encoding.
The Chinese text can be read as a whole, or users can select individual scrolls through the 'Table of Contents' section. The 'Images' section allows users to browse an original version of the Lienu Zhuan through full page scans of each of its eight scrolls, while it is also possible to view individual pages by selecting leaf numbers. The website is of value to any scholar or researcher with an interest in Imperial China, particularly in attitudes towards women. While not all students may be able to read Chinese, the text's illustrations are a valuable source of representations of female virtue in traditional China.
Columbia University's holdings of Ling Long, the popular 1930s Shanghai women's weekly, have been preserved through microfilm and are now available online to the general reader. The only near-complete collection outside China, the magazine has become an indispensable primary source for scholars and students with an interest in women's issues in the Republican era. Users can read individual pages of the magazine in slideshow form by selecting an issue from the table of contents section, or can choose to view the whole issue through thumbnails. The featured issues include a great number of advertisements, cartoons and photographs, offering an invaluable clue to the aspirations of Shanghai's 'modern girls'. Articles cover: advice on love and marriage; gossip on film stars; beauty and fashion tips; career advice; and interior decoration. In addition to the magazine itself, the online project includes an overview of the importance of Ling Long (in English and Chinese), and an account of the preservation techniques used in the project. Although there is little additional textual information to accompany the magazine issues (there are two English translations of Ling Long articles, however), the online project remains an excellent resource for any student or researcher interested in women's lives in urban China in the 1930s. In addition to the primary source material, users will also find English language materials relating to the social and historical background of the magazine, and a bibliography of secondary sources. Now available for the first time outside Columbia University, the magazine offers irreplaceable evidence of Chinese women's changing aspirations when they entered into new worlds of work and education that were to transform their lives.
This online project is devoted to the exploration of the Lienü zhuan text (Traditions of Exemplary Women, 77-76 B.C.), written by Liu Xiang. The Lienü zhuan served as an educational tool for women since the Han period, and contained biographical studies of 'model' female lives. The Web site provides an English translation of the original Chinese text, along with additional secondary source material, such as: essays; a timeline from the third to the second century B.C; and images related to the lives of Han and post-Han women. Although the website is simple to navigate, some of its content remains unfinished as of July 2006 (such as the English translation of the key text itself), and many links to secondary source material remain to be developed. However, it remains a valuable online source of the untranslated original text.
The Web site is available in English and Traditional Chinese, and is directed by Anne Behnke Kinney at the University of Virginia. Since the website contains Chinese script, a Chinese Language Pack may be required for any imput of Chinese characters. This online resource would be of value to undergraduate students of Imperial Chinese history and their tutors, and students of gender in early Imperial China.
From 1992 to 1993, women in villages of rural north west China were given cameras to record a year of their daily life, as pat of a women's reproductive health programme supported by the Ford Foundation. The resulting pictures not only formed an exhibition, but were used as prompts to discussions with officials on improving conditions in the areas involved. From the main page of the website, users can view a textual introduction to the project, and link to selected photographs, covering: work; family; household chores; community; and social change in the villages. Each photograph is annotated with descriptions from the Chinese photographer, and some include brief contextualisation from Western academic sources. In addition, short HTML essays are provided, which elaborate on themes of Chinese women, rural development, and interpreting visual culture.
Although the website as a whole is showing its age in the expiration of many of its recommended gateways, it remains a valuable insight into rural China, which users can interpret from a Western anthropological eye, or through the self-presentation of the Chinese photographers themselves.
The Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization is an online collection of annotated visual sources related to traditional and modern China. Aimed towards teachers and students studying Chinese culture, the site offers visual material for teachers' use in the classroom. It can also be used by students for independent study in conjunction with secondary reading. The site was developed by renowned China scholar Patricia Buckley Ebrey at the University of Washington, and was funded by the Education Division of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Freeman Foundation and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. The site is divided into ten main topics (including geography; archaeology; religion; calligraphy; military technology; painting; homes; gardens; clothing; and the graphic arts) that span from the ancient period to the twentieth century. For each topic, users will find a collection of visual sources together with background information and study questions intended to develop students' understanding. The site also includes separate Teachers' Guides made up of printable versions of each topic, together with reading lists, more extensive notes and strategies for the presentation of key themes. The site is simple to navigate, with each topic presented as a self-contained unit. It will be of value to those teaching first year undergraduate courses, and to students as a means of familiarising themselves with Chinese culture and society.
The Women and Gender Studies Review is an online, freely accessible source of reviews of and opinion on new academic texts in the field of Chinese gender studies. It is part of WAGNet, the Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Network, an online community of academics and researchers based from the University of Oxford, for which the website also acts as a gateway. Reviews can be viewed in HTML format, or as pdf files. Articles cover books on gender issues in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese diaspora, and feature publications on: rural Chinese women; Chinese women's oral history; media and gender; and Chinese women's sexuality. Users are also invited to submit their own reviews (in English or Mandarin Chinese), and respond to those already posted on the website, the submission guidelines for which can be reached via a link from the main page.
The resource would be of value to any researcher or postgraduate student of Chinese gender studies, particularly since the website encourages submissions from graduate students.
This online description of Republican era (1911-1949) women's magazines held at the Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg, introduces the content and aims of nine publications designed to educate or cultivate a new, urbanised generation of Chinese young women. The main page of the website provides an introduction to the significance and roles of women's magazines in the first half of the twentieth century, written by noted Chinese women's history scholar Barbara Mittler. The remainder of the resource is made up of student submissions, which review each featured magazine according to their institutional history, the general contents of articles, and its perceived 'identity' and target audience. The text related to each magazine is interspersed with thumbnail images of graphic art, advertisements and sample pages for each magazine. Featured publications include: Zhongguo fünu; Linglong; Xin fünu; and Fünu shibao. While most of the website's descriptions have been translated into English, three remain in German. Each magazine entry also includes a short bibliography section. Users will also find a more extensive bibliography as a separate section, which covers: women's magazines in China; women's magazines abroad; and women in Republican China. There is also a contact function, through which users can contribute their own comments to the resource. This online collection would be of value to anyone with an interest in Republican China, and in the changing conceptions of women's roles and their representation in the media. Its images from women's magazines would also be useful as a teaching aid in undergraduate classrooms.
World of Nushu (women's script) is an online, illustrated description of the research of Orie Endo, a socio-linguistics professor at Bunkyo University, Japan. Nushu is an ancient script created by women in Hunan Province, central China. The website employs a diary form to document Endo's findings about the writing system and the women who preserve its traditions. The main page is divided into a series of links that introduce the origins of the script, describe research visits to its female writers, and report on international symposiums on Nushu. The site employs a great deal of visual material, including photographs of objects containing women's script. Written examples of Nushu are also included throughout the field reports. Each account is interspersed with photographs of Endo's interviewees, along with transcripts of interviews and traditional songs. The site as a whole is simple to navigate, although there are no links to other sections of the site outside the main index page. The text is presented in an informal style and the interviews with practitioners of nushu tell a great deal about Chinese women's lives in the past. There is also a parallel version of the site in Japanese, and a link to a review of Endo's monograph on nushu (although the pathway to Anne McLaren's research essay is sadly no longer active. The resource would be of particular value to researchers of women's studies in China, to linguistics scholars and to those with an interest in traditional Chinese arts and crafts.
The online resource for the All-China Women's Federation introduces the goals, activities and history of this official organisation designed to promote the interests and rights of women in the People's Republic of China. The website has two main sections: largely text-based information and statistics available from links from the main page; and a multimedia section. From the main page, users can follow links to official statistics about women's roles and employment in China, can read about the activities and campaigns run by the Women's Federation at local and national level, and can find out about the structure of the organisation. The Federation's newsletter is also available online. The multimedia section of the website contains: an online photographic exhibition; statistics; information on laws relating to women; information on the Federation's programmes; and descriptions of women's organisations in China. However, most of the textual content in this multimedia section does not appear to differ from the main part of the website. The website is available in both Chinese and English. Although there is a considerable amount of information for scholars of women and gender in contemporary China, pages can be extremely slow to appear (probably since the website contains an unusual amount of multimedia elements for a Mainland Chinese resource). However, this online resource remains indispensable to anyone studying official ideas of femininity and often-conflicting perceptions of female roles in the People's Republic of China.