Area of Interest: Broadly speaking, my research looks at how the state regulates the population and how individuals discipline themselves, and what kind of (un)intended social and political effects these regulations and disciplines create in urban China. My current project focuses on male sex work, as I see the male body as an increasingly important site where the state and the self carry out various state-building/self-making projects. By exploring male sex work in contemporary China, I ask questions such as “What are the policies regarding the sex industry and homosexuality, how are they justified, and how do they influence individuals’ life?” “What are the specific ways Chinese men use to shape and use their bodies and sexuality, and what can we learn about the sexual, moral and ethical landscapes as transformed by the economic, political, and cultural reconfigurations?” “What kind of HIV/AIDS intervention and treatment mechanisms are available to whom, and what are the state’s and individuals’ decision-makings behind keeping alive and letting die?” These questions provide a lens through which one can explore contemporary China and Chinese as undergoing drastic societal transformations.
Keywords: biopolitics; gender/sexuality; sex work; queer studies; body; power; inequality; violence; HIV/AIDS; post-socialism; China
Status: First year
Previous Degrees: B.A. English, Renmin University of China (2014); M.S. Education, Culture & Society, the University of Pennsylvania (2015)
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