She’s an Icon, She’s Your Type: Linguistic Gender through Typographic and Visual Perspectives in Republican China

In this talk, Coraline Jortay revisits her ongoing research on Republican-era debates surrounding gender and language through the prism of typography and visual culture. Moving beyond linguistic pamphlets and grammar books, this talk examines the iconic value that was attributed to newly-coined gendered pronouns in advertisements, satirical cartoons, or alphabetisation teaching materials of the 1920s and 1930s. In teasing out the visual valence of their presence or absence in relation to their conditions of production, as well as to the impediment to the printing press that they were often said to constitute, this talk also seeks to unravel the manifold entanglements between gender representations and typographical materiality in the Republican era.

Dr Coraline Jortay is the Laming Junior Research Fellow at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford.