Masculinity and Challenging Stereotypes in Chinese Danmei Webnovels

Amanda Ellard (Ohio University)

Drawing from digital fieldwork and participant observation, I examine how through Chinese danmei (male/male gay fiction) webnovels—with their tropes that simultaneously counter and reinforce pop-culture’s field of hegemonic masculinity and feature the complicated figure of the bishounen man (a Japanese term for the beautiful, androgynous masculine aesthetic)—women reject gender stereotypes, imagine societies of reversed male and female roles, and reimagine masculinity within the safety of a fictional story and online fandom community anonymity. The danmei genre and fandom becomes a carnivalesque-like space, which contributes to community-building among fans.

Part of V4-05 Folklore, Gender, and Literature, Thursday, October 12, 8:00 am–10:00 am