In this compelling new study, Louise Edwards explores the lives of some of China's most famous women warriors and wartime spies through history. Focusing on key figures including Hua Mulan, Zheng Pingru and Liu Hulan, this book examines the ways in which these extraordinary women have been commemorated through a range of cultural mediums including film, theatre, museums and textbooks. Whether perceived as heroes or anti-heroes, Edwards shows that both the popular and official presentation of these women and their accomplishments has evolved in line with China's shifting political values and circumstances over the past one hundred years. Written in a lively and accessible style with illustrations throughout, this book sheds new light on the relationship between gender and militarisation and the ways that women have been exploited to glamorise war both historically in the past and in China today.
Louise Edwards is Professor of Chinese History and Asian Studies Convener at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She publishes on women and gender in China and Asia. Her most recent sole-authored book is Gender, Politics and Democracy: Women's Suffrage in China (2008). She is also currently President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia.
1. Women warriors and wartime spies of China; 2. The archetypal woman warrior, Hua Mulan: militarising filial piety; 3. Qiu Jin: transitioning from traditional swordswoman to feminist warrior; 4. Xie Bingying opening public spaces to women - fighting patriarchy and fighting militarists; 5. Aisin Gioro Xianyu: 'Joan of Arc of the Orient' or 'Mata Hari of the East'?; 6. Guerrilla resistance leader, Zhao Yiman: warrior teacher and sacrificing CCP mother; 7. Negotiating sexual virtue: the glamorous honey-trap spy, Zheng Pingru; 8. Ding Ling and Zhenzhen: female chastity and good communist governance; 9. Mobilising and militarising rural China through the girl martyr, Liu Hulan; 10. Women warriors and wartime spies as tools for 'total militarisation': The Red Detachment of Women; Bibliography; Index.