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London School of Economics and Political Science
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Professor Stephan Feuchtwang
s.feuchtwang@lse.ac.uk

Dr Fang-Long Shih
f.shih@lse.ac.uk

Social Justice and Contemporary Critical Theories of Gender and Sexuality: toward a queer humanist perspective on law, politics, and sexual justice

With Dr Chieh Wang

Seminar on Taiwan in Global Comparative Perspective

Series:  Seminar on Taiwan in Comparative Perspective

The LSE Taiwan Research Programme pleased to announce a seminar on “Social Justice and Contemporary Critical Theories of Gender and Sexuality: Toward a Queer Humanist Perspective on Law, Politics, and Sexual Justice”, to be held on the coming Wednesday 23 November. You are all welcome to attend.The discussion will take further our previous seminar on 13 June on “The Road to Marriage Equality and the Democratization of Intimacy in Taiwan”. The presentation will be given by Dr Chieh Wang who will address issues of sexuality, gender, and social justice from a theoretical perspective, followed by comments from Jessica Ng and Stuart Thompson.

Title: Social Justice and Contemporary Critical Theories of Gender and Sexuality: toward a queer humanist perspective on law, politics, and sexual justice

Date: Wednesday 23 November 2016, 6–8pm

Venue: Seligman Library, 6th Floor, Old Building, LSE

Chair: Dr Fang-long Shih (LSE)

Speaker:  Dr Chieh Wang (LSE)

Panellists: Jessica Ng (LSE) , Stuart Thompson (SOAS)

Abstract

In this presentation, I critically examine how issues of gender, sexuality, and social justice are interpreted, constructed, and discussed in contemporary emancipatory or critical-legal and political projects on sexuality and gender, especially in areas of family relations. Here, I engage with subordination feminism, masculinities theories, queer theories, and liberal theories of gay rights, which I review critically before arguing for the incorporation of queer humanist perspectives into thinking about gender oppression, normative heterosexuality, law, and social justice. Such an approach draws on queer theories, liberal theories of gay rights, some feminist theories and humanist masculinities theories, but rejects the oversimplified and unidimensional concept of gender oppression and gender power relations that is frequently assumed by subordination feminism.

Queer humanist theory of sexuality and gender views the power relations of gender and gender oppression in the family as multi-layered and complex, and not just about male domination and female subordination. As such, it allows us to see more realities and previously hidden or marginalised sexuality and gender oppression. I further contend that we cannot effectively subvert normative heterosexuality and gender oppression by only seeing and addressing constraining gender normativity in one gender, and I elaborate the implications of queer humanist theory in the law and public policies of sexuality and gender.

I also discuss how queer humanist theory could contribute to reflection on issues of sexuality and gender justice in Taiwan and other East Asian societies. In conclusion, I argue that queer humanist theory can broaden our base of concerns and knowledge of sexual injustices and gender oppression in projects of law and sexual justice. It is an approach worth considering and an area of sexual justice study worth further exploration and research.

About the Speaker

Chieh Wang received his PhD in Law from the LSE in 2016.  He studied law and philosophy at National Taiwan University before his PhD studies at the LSE. His research interests lie in the fields of legal theory, political theory, family law, equality and discrimination law, sexuality and gender studies, and Chinese legal and political philosophy.

About the Discussant

Jessica Ng is a PhD student in the Department of Social Policy at the LSE. Her doctoral research examines the adaptive behaviour of LGBT social organisations in post-same-sex marriage Canada from the theoretical intersection of organisational political economy (resource dependence) and postmodernism. Her recent research includes a piece on the growing global prominence of Christian nongovernmental service providers and their implications for LGBT activism in China, and a performance-based research piece on representations of living/aging with HIV in Canada. She has previously taught on the LSE-Peking University Summer Programme as a graduate teaching assistant for the course, From NGOs to Social Enterprises: Chinese Social Organisations in Local and Global Governance. Ms Ng holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the LSE. She is a doctoral fellow of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Chieh Wang

Jessica Ng