Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China
Columbia University Press 2018
Howard Chiang’s new book is a masterful study of the relationship between sexual knowledge and Chinese modernity. After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China (Columbia University Press, 2018) guides readers through the history of eunuchs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the techniques of visualization that helped establish the conditions that produced sex as an object of empirical knowledge, the rise of sexology in the 1920s, the discourse of “sex change” in the press from the 1920s to the 1940s, and a famous case of the “first” Chinese transsexual in 1950s Taiwan. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of sexuality in China, and will be of special interest for readers who are interested in bringing Foucault-inspired analyses to the craft of history.
Carla Nappi is the Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh. You can learn more about her and her work here.