Faculty Colloquium Series: Jun Lei

“Love Like a Chinese Socialist: Sublimation, Substantialization and Momentary Indulgence in Maoist Culture”

Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 4-5 p.m.
Location: 311 Glasscock Building
The paper is available to members of the Center’s listserv, or by contacting the Glasscock Center by phone at (979) 845-8328 or by e-mail at glasscock@tamu.edu.

Jun LeiJun Lei | Assistant Professor, Department of International Studies, 2016-17 Glasscock Faculty Research Fellow, Texas A&M University

The Glasscock Center extends a warm invitation to faculty and students to join in a discussion of Jun Lei’s work-in-progress.

Lei is an assistant professor of Chinese in the Department of International Studies at Texas A&M University. She received her Ph.D. in comparative literature and Chinese literature from University of California, San Diego in 2015. Her major research interests are: twentieth-century Chinese literature and visual culture, film studies, and gender studies. She has published peer-reviewed articles on changing aesthetics of the female body, and on the regulation of female sexuality by scientific discourse in Chinese literature and print media of the early twentieth century.

China scholars, when addressing gender issues in Maoist China, often contend for a total disjuncture between the Maoist regime and the pre-socialist and post-socialist eras. One prominent argument is that romantic love and sexuality, together gender, were progressively erased from cultural expressions, and heroines, deprived of femininity and sexuality, became genderless and desexualized children to the Party. This research project challenges the gender “erasure” theory and the “disjuncture” model of understanding socialist love and femininity in Chinese cultural history. Lei proposes that romantic love and feminine beauty did not simply vanish into the thin air of Chinese socialist cultural productions or people’s lived experiences. Rather, they were re-forged into different forms in various cultural presentations and representations, through the strategies of sublimation, substantiation and momentary indulgence, to visually and emotionally appeal to masses and audiences. 

The Faculty Colloquium offers faculty an opportunity to discuss a work-in-progress with colleagues from different disciplines. By long-standing practice, colloquium presenters provide a draft of their current research, which is made available to members of the Glasscock Center listserv. Each colloquium begins with the presenter’s short (10-15 minute) exposition of the project, after which the floor is open for comments and queries. The format is by design informal, conversational, and interdisciplinary.

The paper is available to members of the Center’s email list, or by contacting the Glasscock Center by phone at (979) 845-8328 or by email at glasscock@tamu.edu. To join the Center’s email list and receive regular notices of colloquia and other events, please register at http://glasscock.tamu.edu/contact-us/mailing-list.