CeMEAS Conversations: Bao Hongwei

CeMEAS Conversations: Bao Hongwei

Voices of Struggle: LGBTQ and Feminist Activism in China and Beyond

We are excited to present Bao Hongwei as part of our CeMEAS Conversations. In our video we discuss his latest publication
Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China as well as his role as activist and researcher.


Our video series “Voices of Struggle: LGBTQ and Feminist Activism in China and Beyond” was filmed on the sidelines of a symposium of the same name held at the University of Göttingen on 17 April 2018. In our conversations with four of the participants (Hongwei Bao, Maizi Li, Popo Fan, Harriet Evans) we explore the complex entanglements between activism and academia in transnational perspective. What does it mean to be an engaged or activist scholar today? How should we think about the connections/separations between the two spheres of activism and academia? And how can activists and academics best combine their strengths to effect change? In what ways are deepening transnational connections re-shaping the practice of activism around the globe? Our two day event brought together leading scholars and activists to discuss these questions in relation to the development of feminism and LGBTQ activism in China and beyond.

Short Bio of Bao Hongwei:
Hongwei Bao is an Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham in England. He has held previous faculty positions at universities around the world including the University of Potsdam, the University of Sydney and the National Academy of Theatrical Arts in Beijing. As a scholar, Bao’s pathbreaking research aims to bring queer theory, Marxism and China into dialogue with each other. By looking at queer media production, queer filmmaking, and LGBT social organisations in contemporary China, he theorises how sexual identities emerge in a neoliberal and postsocialist context and how a radical queer public culture can be made. His new book, titled Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Queer Politics in Postsocialist China, was published by NIAS Press in 2018. The book offers in-depth analysis of recent queer history and contemporary cultural texts, including the processes by which queer theory and activism was introduced and received in the PRC. Another of our panelists, the queer filmmaker Fan Popo features centrally in Bao’s book. Fan is also a central subject in the talk that Bao will give to us today, “Performing Queer in the Theatre-Documentary Convergence.” He has also organized a Chinese Independent Film Festival in Nottingham along with many other film screening events and research workshops.


CeMEAS Conversation Editors: Sarah Eaton & Katja Pessl