Sinoglossia Incarnate: The Entanglements of Castration across the Pacific

  • Howard Chiang


The theorization of the Sinophone concept has attracted various criticisms to date, but perhaps the two most popular strands concern its language-centrism and its apathy towards translation. To overcome these limitations, this paper proposes Sinoglossia as an alternative but complementary theory that is defined by culture in the way that the Sinophone is defined by language. This paper situates a series of Sinophone martial arts (wuxia) films and the Anglophone film M. Butterfly (1993) within a broader framework of “entangled analysis.” Specifically, it draws on transgender theory to examine the representations and meanings of castration as a ground of comparing a body of works that tend to be considered separately. Read in this way, the films loosen representational claims about China—from earnest ties to Sinitic languages, scripts, or texts—make room for multi- and extra-linguistic comparisons across shifting parameters of translation, and strategically position Chinese culture at the center of Sinoglossiac theoretical critique.


Ming Dynasty Global Politics Love Story Male Protagonist Real Penis 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard Chiang
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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