Gender and Representation of Asian Women

A black and white photograph of two women dressed as geishas.

Two women dressed as geishas. (Image courtesy of Aitor Castano.)


MIT Course Number

21A.470J / WGS.274J

As Taught In

Spring 2010



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course explores stereotypes associated with Asian women in colonial, nationalist, state-authoritarian, and global/diasporic narratives about gender and power. Students will read ethnography, cultural studies, and history, and view films to examine the politics and circumstances that create and perpetuate the representation of Asian women as dragon ladies, lotus blossoms, despotic tyrants, desexualized servants, and docile subordinates. Students are introduced to the debates about Orientalism, gender, and power.

Related Content

Manduhai Buyandelger. 21A.470J Gender and Representation of Asian Women. Spring 2010. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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