In the first several decades of the People’s Republic of China, ambitious state initiatives worked to reshape everything about rural communities. State authorities created powerful new gendered roles for rural women, mostly in the realm of collective labor and political action. Drawing from research in Shaanxi province, Gail Hershatter explores the sometimes surprising interactions between Woman as socialist icon and the gendered everyday of family and community life. A historian of Modern China, Hershatter was among the first Western scholars to conduct extended research in China following the end of the Cultural Revolution.
Cosponsored by Penn’s Departments of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and History, and Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women.
Gail Hershatter is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a former President of the Association for Asian Studies. Her works include The Workers of Tianjin (1986, Chinese translation 2016); Personal Voices: China Women in the 1980s (1988, with Emily Honig); Dangerous Pleasures: Prostitution in Twentieth-Century Shanghai (1997, Chinese translation 2003); Women in China's Log Twentieth Century (2004); The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China's Collective Past (2011, Chinese translation 2017); and Women and China's Revolution (2019).