Launch event for Professor Joan Judge’s book on Chinese commercial culture

JudgeBookLaunchPosterJoan Judge, professor of History at York University, will launch her book Republican Lens: Gender, Visuality, and Experience in the Early Chinese Periodical Press at an event March 3 hosted by the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR).

The book explores an often overlooked brand of commercial culture that emerged around China’s 1911 Revolution. Judge seeks to understand the early years of China’s first republic through the mainland Chinese journals Funu shibao (the women’s eastern times). She argues that the commercial press played a key role in shaping gender trends in China’s revolutionary 20th century.

Judge uses cross-genre and inter-media methods to analyze the complexities of China’s past, including cover art, photographs, advertisements, poetry, editorials, essays and readers’ columns. These methods result in important insights into social change and knowledge culture in 20th century China. In particular, they reveal the significance of the scientization of the notion of “experience”, the public recognition of “Republican ladies”, and the building up of “Chinese medicine”.

Judge’s book demonstrates how this journal captures different and often neglected aspects of social and cultural developments in the early years of China’s republic.

The book launch event will include a round table discussion with five scholars in various disciplines who will explore the themes of the book and review its contributions and avenues for further research. The round table participants include:

  • Eugenia Lean, Columbia University – modern Chinese cultural history
  • Anne (Rusty) Shteir, York University – women and science culture
  • Bernard Lightman, York University – history of science
  • Yi (Evie) Gu, University of Toronto, Scarborough – photography and visual culture
  • Doris Sung, York University – digital humanities

The event takes place in Room 280N, Second Floor, York Lanes, and all are welcome. For more information, visit or contact