Queer TV China

Televisual and Fannish Imaginaries of Gender, Sexuality, and Chineseness

(酷兒電視中國:性別、 性向與中國性之電視視覺和粉絲想像)

Edited by Jamie J. Zhao

ISBN : 978-988-8805-61-7

Cultural Studies, Gender Studies Queer Asia (酷兒亞洲)

February 2023

248 pages, 6″ x 9″, 7 b&w illus.

  • HK$600.00

The 2010s have seen an explosion in popularity of Chinese television featuring same-sex intimacies, LGBTQ-identified celebrities, and explicitly homoerotic storylines even as state regulations on “vulgar” and “immoral” content grow more prominent. This emerging “queer TV China” culture has generated diverse, cyber, and transcultural queer fan communities. Yet these seemingly progressive televisual productions and practices are caught between multilayered sociocultural and political-economic forces and interests.

Taking “queer” as a verb, an adjective, and a noun, this volume counters the Western-centric conception of homosexuality as the only way to understand nonnormative identities and same-sex desire in the Chinese and Sinophone worlds. It proposes an analytical framework of “queer/ing TV China” to explore the power of various TV genres and narratives, censorial practices, and fandoms in queer desire-voicing and subject formation within a largely heteropatriarchal society. Through examining nine cases contesting the ideals of gender, sexuality, Chineseness, and TV production and consumption, the book also reveals the generative, negotiative ways in which queerness works productively within and against mainstream, seemingly heterosexual-oriented, televisual industries and fan spaces.

Jamie J. Zhao is assistant professor in media and cultural studies in the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong.

Other contributors:

Aobo Dong, Emory University, USA

Jia Guo, University of Sydney, Australia

Wangtaolue Guo, University of Alberta, Canada

Linshan Jiang, Duke University, USA

Shaojun Kong, University of Sydney, Australia

Jun Lei, Texas A&M University, USA

Pang Ka Wei, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Jennifer Quist, University of Alberta, Canada

Alvin K. Wong, University of Hong Kong

Oscar Tianyang Zhou, Kent, UK

“This cornucopia of fresh and original essays opens our eyes to the burgeoning queer television culture thriving beneath official media crackdowns in China. As diverse as the phenomenon it analyses, Queer TV China is the spark that will ignite a prairie fire of future scholarship.”

Chris Berry, Professor of Film Studies, King’s College London

“This timely volume explores the various possibilities and nuances of queerness in Chinese TV and fannish culture. Challenging the dichotomy of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ representations of gender and sexual minorities, Queer TV China argues for a multilayered and queer-informed understanding of the production, consumption, censorship, and recreation of Chinese television today.”

Geng Song, Associate Professor and Director of Translation Program, University of Hong Kong