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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

Digital Masquerade: Feminist Rights and Queer Media in China


Assoc. Prof. Jia Tan (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Date and Time

May 26, 2023, 1:15 -  3 pm


University of Zurich, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, Room RAA E 29, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich


Digital Masquerade offers a trenchant and singular analysis of the convergence of digital media,  feminist and queer culture, and rights consciousness in China. The speaker examines the formation of what she calls “rights feminism,” or the emergence of rights consciousness in Chinese feminist  formations, as well as queer activism and rights advocacy. Expanding on feminist and queer theory of masquerade, she develops the notion of “digital masquerade” to theorise the co-constitutive role of digital technology as assemblage and entanglement in the articulation of feminism, queerness, and rights. Drawing from interviews with various feminist and queer media practitioners, participant observation at community events, and detailed analyses of a variety of media forms such as social media, electronic journals, digital filmmaking, film festivals, and dating app videos, the speaker captures the feminist, queer, and rights articulations that are simultaneously disruptive of and conditioned by state censorship, technological affordances, and dominant social norms.

Jia TAN is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies in the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her doctoral degree in critical studies of cinema and television from the University of Southern California. She is the author of Digital Masquerade: Feminist Rights and Queer Media in China (New York University Press, 2023). Her research has been funded by Hong Kong Research Grants Council, Social Science Research Council, Harold Lloyd Foundation, and so on. She is on the editorial board of Communication, Culture, and Critique as well as Journal of Chinese Cinemas.


Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies - Chinese Studies

Funded by the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science at the University of Zurich