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Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Network: Minutes of General Meeting, 2004


Minutes of the WAGNet meeting, held at the 15th European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS) Conference in Heidelberg, August 27,2004.

Present: Maria Jaschok, University of Oxford, UK; Grace Fong, McGill University, Canada; Alessandra Aresu, University of Westminster, UK; Marina Thorborg, Södertörn Högskola, Sweden; Denise Gimpel, Kopenhagen University, Denmark; Helena Löthman, Stockholm University, Sweden; Mechthild Leutner, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany; Iris Hopf, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany; Cecilia Milwertz, NIAS, Denmark; Marianne Hester, University of Bristol, UK; Nicola Spakowski, International University Bremen, Germany; Liu Jieyu, University of York, England; Olga Lomova, Charles University Prague, Czech Republic; Yuen Ting Lee, Independent Scholar, Hong Kong; Anne Gerritsen, University of Warwick, UK.

  1. Opening and welcome. Maria Jaschok opened the meeting, and welcomed everyone, reminding them of the great progress WAGNet has made since the founding meeting at the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) meeting in Berlin in 2001, with now over 200 members, a vibrant listserv, and many activities behind us and planned for the future.

  2. Recent events. Nicola Spakowski briefly reflected on the process of convening the ‘women and gender’ section for this 15th EACS conference. The local conference convenor had intervened in the process of deciding which papers would be accepted for the section, despite the fact that the authority to make these decisions was bestowed on the section convenors by the EACS board. When this intervention was not accepted, and a conflict arose, the matter was finally settled when a compromise solution proposed by the section convenors was accepted by a group made up of all section convenors. Since this conflict had not only overshadowed the preparations for the conference, but also damaged the reputation of EACS, it was felt to be of great importance to move towards a more transparent and democratic association at the general meeting of the EACS.

  3. WAGNet initiatives
    1. The ‘Gender in Chinese Studies Graduate Workshop’, to be held in Prague in January 2005. After the success of the Leiden (1998) and Oxford (1993) graduate student workshops, a third workshop is now being planned by Professor Olga Lomova. The location in Prague will hopefully make it possible for students from Eastern Europe to attend. The deadline has been extended, and all WAGNet members who are advanced PhD students are especially encouraged to think about sending in an application to attend, or to recommend the workshop to their students. It is an opportunity not to be missed!
    2. Chinese Gender Studies Review Journal. WAGNet is preparing the launch of an online journal of reviews of materials relevant for the study of women and gender in China. The aim is to involve as many people as possible in suggesting materials for reviews and contributing reviews. The WAGNet website will host the online review journal, and will offer the opportunity for a lively exchange of ideas about the materials and their reviews. The aim is to review not only materials directly related to women and gender published in China, Taiwan and in the Western academy, but also seminal studies where women and gender are entirely absent in the analysis, where such reviews can point out ways in which the gender aspect might be integrated into the approach. Nicola Spakowski, who has offered to serve as the Journal’s first editor, will send a message to all WAGNet members to solicit their input and contributions.
    3. Marina Thorborg suggested that her bibliography on women in China could be placed on the website, and Grace Fong alerted WAGNet members to a searchable database of writings by Ming-Qing women writers, which will be launched later this fall. Once it becomes available, there will be a link to this research tool on the WAGNet website.

  4. WAGNet steering group. Most of the current members of the WAGNet steering will continue to serve (Maria Jaschok, Fiona Moore, Nicola Spakowski, Cecilia Milwertz and Anne Gerritsen). Harriet Zurndorfer (Leiden University, Netherlands) will no longer serve as an active member of the group, but will hopefully continue as an advisory member. Marina Thorborg and Marianne Hester expressed an interest in helping on the steering group. After the meeting, Denise Gimpel also offered her help. If others are interested, their help would be most gratefully received!

  5. WAGNet listserv. Maria Jaschok, who does most of the listserv work, made a plea for people to become more involved and to participate in exchanges. Members present all expressed their enthusiasm for the listserv and their gratitude to Maria Jaschok for her hard work. Yuen Ting Lee promised some contributions from Hong Kong.

  6. WAGNet relationship with EACS. It was decided that the relationship with EACS continues to be beneficial for WAGNet, as it offers a certain amount of visibility and the possibility of financial support for its activities. For the time being, the nature of the relationship will continue to be informal.

  7. Convening the WAGNet section for the 2006 EACS conference in Slovenia. The issue of having a separate women and gender section, as opposed to women and gender papers integrated in all sections, was discussed, and it was felt that it would be a good idea to continue having a separate ‘women and gender’ section for the time being. Of course everyone interested in gender is free to apply to any panel, including but not necessarily only the gender panel. Denise Gimpel volunteered her services for convening the next women and gender section, and will think about finding a colleague to work with.

  8. AOB.
    1. Marina Thorborg mentioned the development of a joint study program with the theme ‘labour, gender, and migration in China’. The program, made up of 10 Europeans, 10 Americans and 10 Hong Kong students, will involve a trip to the Pearl River Delta, and is intended to result in a panel for the 2005 women’s conference. Marina asked for WAGNet to give it an official endorsement, and promised to email further details to the listserv.
    2. The meeting was reminded of the upcoming deadline on November 1st 2004 for the 4th ICAS conference, to be held in August 2005 in Shanghai. The website for the submission of proposals can be found here http://www.iias.nl/host/icassecretariat/icas_shanghai.htm
Administrator: Maria Jaschok
Webmaster: Fiona Moore
Contact WAGNet: wagnet@herald.ox.ac.uk