The Sino-Nordic prism as queer method: A proposal

23 april 2024 15:15 till 17:00 Föreläsning

Open lecture with Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen, University of Stavanger.

A persistent problematic in much transnational, comparative research, policy, and activism, is the ways in which inequalities of power - past and present – shape knowledge production. The continued dominance of methodological nationalism reduces the promises of meaningful expansive transnational thinking to a monolithic binary model that tend to reproduce harmful narratives of absolute differences and otherness.

In this work-in-progress, I build on Howard Chiang’s notion of ‘queer sinophonicity’ (2014) and AsiaPacificQueer’s notion of ‘queer Asia as method’ (2017), amongst others, to offer the Sino-Nordic prism as a queer transnational method. Drawing on autoethnographic reflections, the (geo)politics of China and queer Sinophone theories, I propose that a Sino-Nordic dynamic find meaningful articulations through each other, and by extension a way to denaturalize and de-authenticate each other vis-a-vis Anglo-American, universalizing scholarship. In a world facing democratic decline, with particularly devastating consequences for groups and regions considered other and/or minority, it is urgently important to re-imagine meaningful ways to expose ongoing structural inequalities and to decenter and localize cultural diversities in ways that highlight underlying or potentially generative commonalities and hence, our shared humanity.



Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen is Professor of Gender Research at the Centre for Gender Studies, University of Stavanger (UiS), Norway. A trained anthropologist (PhD, LSE, 2008), Engebretsen specializes in queer, feminist and gender studies and the ethnographic regions of China and Nordic Europe. Amongst her publications are the monograph Queer Women in Urban China: An Ethnography (Routledge, 2014), which was awarded the American Anthropological Association’s Ruth Benedict Award’s Honorable Mention; Queer/Tongzhi China: New Perspectives on Research, Activism and Media Cultures (with Will Schroeder and Hongwei Bao, NIAS Press, 2015), and Transforming Identities in Contemporary Europe: Critical Essays on Knowledge, Inequality and Belonging (with Mia Liinason, Routledge, 2023). With Jinyan Zeng, Engebretsen is publishing the anthology, The Spectre of Feminist Activism in Post-2010s Transnational China (Bloomsbury, 2024), and she has contributed to the first English-language collection of Cui Zi’en’s short stories, Platinum Bible of the Public Toilet: Ten Queer Stories (Duke UP, 2024).

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23 april 2024 15:15 till 17:00

Asia Library, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Sölvegatan 18 B, Lund


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