Conditional Intimacy: Same-Sex Contract Marriage in Chinese Cyberspace

A research seminar with Dr Hongwei Bao (University of Nottingham)


 Thursday 11th June 2015


ATB/042 Seebohm Rowntree Building

University of York

 Seminar Abstract:

 In recent years, ‘contract marriage’ (xingshi hunyin) has become a popular practice for gays and lesbians in China, who, on the one hand, enjoy the freedom the new sexualities and subjectivities bring them, and, on the other, are forced into heteronormative marriages by their families and the society. Why do gays and lesbians choose to ‘fake’ their marriages in this way? How does the marriage work, in paper and in practice? Has this type of ‘queer marriage’ opened up possibilities for non-normative ways of sociality and intimacy? Through online ethnography and face-to-face interviews with gays and lesbians in China, this talk explores the attractions and frustrations of ‘being normal’ as sexual minorities living in a heteronormative society.

About Dr. Hongwei Bao:

Dr. Hongwei Bao is an Assistant Professor in Media Studies at The University of Nottingham. They are interested in mediated cultural politics in a transnational Chinese context, including but not limited to: gay identity and queer politics, social media and community media, and film and filmmaking. They are primarily concerned about how media relate to issues of gender, sexuality and identity, and how they participate in community building, empowerment of minority groups, and grassroots social movements. Bao also considers how media and contemporary culture responds to a postsocialist world dominated by neoliberal values and ideologies, and how ideological contestations are manifested in mediated forms.


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