Queer Narratives in Hong Kong Literature: Deconstructing Masculinity, Sexuality, and Animality in Lillian Lee’s “Green Snake” (80512)

Session Information: Comparative Gender Studies
Session Chair: Nga Nguyen

Monday, 27 May 2024 10:30
Session: Session 1
Room: Room B (Live-Stream)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

This abstract explores the complex interplay of sexual and political identities within the unique socio-cultural landscape of Hong Kong, particularly during the transformative 1980s leading up to the 1997 handover to China. By examining Lillian Lee's novel "Green Snake" and an ongoing exhibition at the Hong Kong Tai Kwun museum, this study delves into the extraterritorial nature of queer narratives in Hong Kong literature, highlighting their resistance to heteronormative and mainland ideological authority.
The analysis focuses on how Lee's novel challenges binary notions of masculinity, sexuality, and animality within a hybrid cultural context. It investigates the portrayal of masculinity beyond traditional Western narratives, emphasizing the enduring prominence of the scholarly male archetype in Hong Kong literature. Through the character of Xu Xian, Lee reorients Chinese masculinity, suggesting that it may transcend fixed binary standards, thereby challenging perceptions of feminization.
Regarding sexuality, the narrative navigates non-normative sexual behaviors through symbolic representations, negotiating moral panic and societal acceptance. By employing Esposito's immunological logic, the text strategically includes and excludes elements of queer desire, maintaining a delicate balance to preserve harmony within the narrative.
Furthermore, the novel explores the intersection of queerness and animality, relocating homosexual desire onto non-human objects to challenge conventional interpretations of 'natural law.' Through the lens of queer ecology, the study examines how interspecies romantic relationships disrupt hegemonic heteronormativity.
Ultimately, this research aims to unravel the appropriation of queer identities for destabilizing normative structures, providing insights into the complexities of queer narratives in non-Western contexts like Hong Kong literature.

Jiayin Song, University of Leeds, United Kingdom

About the Presenter(s)
Ms JIAYIN SONG is a University Doctoral Student at University of Leeds in United Kingdom

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00