Lunchtime conversation with best-selling author Leta Hong Fincher & Bhakthi Puvanenthiran

Date/Time
Date(s) - 06 March 2019
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

Location
Victoria Room, Queen Victoria Women's Centre


As part the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre celebrations to mark International Women’s Day, Leta Hong Fincher, author of Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China, will feature in a free lunchtime conversation with Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, Associate Editor of crikey.com on March 6. The lunchtime talk is one of a number of free events during the week for the Centre.  Admission is free but bookings are strongly encouraged https://www.trybooking.com/BAPEQ

On the eve of International Women’s Day in 2015, the Chinese government arrested five feminist activists and jailed them for 37 days. The Feminist Five became a global cause célèbre, with Hillary Clinton speaking out on their behalf, and activists inundating social media with #FreetheFive messages. But the Feminist Five are only symbols of a much larger feminist movement of university students, civil rights lawyers, labour activists, performance artists and online warriors that is prompting an unprecedented awakening among China’s urban, educated women. In Betraying Big Brother, journalist and scholar Leta Hong Fincher argues that the popular, broad-based movement poses a unique challenge to China’s authoritarian regime today.

Through interviews with the Feminist Five and other leading Chinese activists, Leta Hong Fincher illuminates both the difficulties they face and their “joy of betraying Big Brother,” as one of the Feminist Five wrote of the defiance she felt during her detention. Tracing the rise of a new feminist consciousness now finding expression through the #MeToo movement, and describing how the Chinese government has suppressed the history of its own feminist struggles, Betraying Big Brother is a story of how the movement against patriarchy could reconfigure China and the world.

Leta Hong Fincher has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Dissent Magazine, BBC, CNN and others. She won the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award for her China reporting. Fluent in Mandarin, Leta is the first American to receive a Ph.D. from Tsinghua University’s Department of Sociology in Beijing. She has a master’s degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree with high honours from Harvard University.

Betraying Big Brother (Verso), is Leta’s second book and was named one of the best books of 2018 by Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Bitch Media, Foreign Policy Interrupted and Autostraddle. Leta’s first book, Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China (Zed 2014), was named one of the top 5 China books of 2014 by the Asia Society’s ChinaFile, one of the best foreign policy books in 2014 by FP Interrupted and one of the best Asian books of 2014 by Asia House. Leftover Women was named on New Left Review’s list of favourite books to read for International Women’s Day in 2016 and 2017.

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran is Associate Editor of Crikey, writing mainly on politics and the media. Previously Bhakthi was a journalist and editor at The Age and Sydney Morning Herald covering arts, entertainment and business. She co-hosted the podcast Hard Bargain, is a regular media commentator and sits on the board of the National Young Writers’ Festival.

 

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