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Seminar: Female Spies and Sexspionage: Barrack whores or noble patriots?
Date: 10 February 2010 

You are cordially invited to attend the following talk held as part of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures' new Seminar Series:
Female Spies and Sexspionage: Barrack whores or noble patriots?

Professor Louise Edwards
(Modern China Studies)

Date: 10 February 2010 (Wednesday)
Time: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Venue: Convocation Room, Main Building

Prostitution and spying are often wryly described as the world's oldest and second oldest professions. In wartime both functions are frequently combined into one role --"sexspionage"-- as military strategists expand their intelligence gathering networks. The wars that ravaged China between 1937 and 1949 provided ample scope for all sides in the combat to mobilize women as sex spies.

In her talk, Professor Edwards examines the evolution of Chinese perspectives on the deployment of young women as sex spies before and after the cessation of hostilities. It addresses questions of chastity and sacrifice as well as memory-creation and the sexualized nature of post-war reconstruction.

The seminar draws on magazines and newspapers that popularized knowledge of the sex spies during wartime and concludes analyzing the creation, recreation and adaption of China's most famous fictional sex spy -- Zhenzhen from Ding Ling's 1941 'When I was in Xia Village' as she transformed over the decades to the 2003 film version.

Louise Edwards is Professor of Modern China Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. This talk is part of a larger project exploring women's engagement with the military in China and builds off her book on Chinese women's participation in politics "Gender, Politics and Democracy: Women's Suffrage in China" (Stanford UP 2008).

All are welcome. No registration is required.

For enquiries, please contact Dr Marie Berne,

Please note that the next talk will be "The radical new speech thinking paradigm of Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy" by Wayne Cristaudo (European Studies) on February 24 (Wed), 4.30-6.30 PM, Venue to be confirmed.

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