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In December 1946, college student Shen Chong was raped by an inebriated US Marine in Peking. Although the initial trial by the court martial in China found the Marine guilty, the verdict was overturned by Judge Advocate General of the Navy in Washington. Student protests quickly turned into a nationwide anti-American movement. In contrast to previous studies that emphasise the event's political impacts from the perspective of American imperialism and Chinese nationalism, this article shifts both the focus and scale of inquiry from the macro of national and international politics to the micro of a Chinese woman's body, investigating the particular mechanisms through which injustice towards a Chinese woman was executed in the US justice system. Probing along and against the ‘archival grain’ in both countries and languages, this article argues that such injustice was not only grounded in the political hegemony of the US military empire, but also resulted from a flawed legal system steeped in racial and sexual biases against Chinese women. This article further suggests that in order to understand this key chapter of Sino–US history, we must bring back to the centre of our study the injured woman, a figure that has remained largely invisible in the grand narratives of conventional political and diplomatic history.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Gender and History|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2023|
Bibliographical noteThis article is dedicated to Shen Chong and Chinese women, especially the younger generation, whohave shown remarkable courage and wisdom during recent crises, fighting for the un-silencing of theirvoices and the visibility of their experiences. I am grateful for the meticulous suggestions from HuCheng, Tony Harkins and Y. T. Huang which have helped shape this article. Invaluable feedback fromYing Zhang, Shellen Wu, Bin Yang, Zuo Shuangwen and the two anonymous reviewers at the differentstages of this work has greatly enhanced its quliaty. I would also like to express my appreciationto the Women’s Writing Group in Hong Kong, which has been a source of unwavering intellectualand emotional support. This research is supported by a scholar grant from the Chiang Ching-kuoFoundation, a general research grant from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (13602120) and aFaculty Research Grant from Lingnan University.
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GIs and Chinese: Sino-American Interactions at the Grassroots, 1945-1949 (二戰後的駐華美兵與中國社會)
Research Grants Council (HKSAR)
1/01/21 → 31/12/23
Project: Grant Research
The Forgotten History of American Servicemen in China, 1945-1949
1/12/18 → 1/12/20
Project: Grant Research
From Liberators to Rapists: Anti-American Nationalism in Republican China
1/07/17 → 31/07/18
Project: Non-LU ProjectsFile