portrait Xiang

Zairong Xiang

Fellow 14-16

Gender Studies / Feminist/Queer Theories / Decolonial Theories / History of Medicine / Philosophy


Zairong Xiang received his PhD in Comparative Literature (summa cum laude 2013) from the EU funded joint doctorate Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Germany) and Université de Perpignan Via Domitia (France) with mobility stays in Mexico and Italy after his two-year MA studies of Women’s and Gender Studies in England and Spain (Erasmus Mundus-GEMMA). Working at the intersection of feminism, queer studies, decolonial options and comparative literature in a transnational and multilingual setting, his research aims to problematize and think beyond the modern/colonial (hetero)normative regime of gender and sexuality. He is in the process of publishing his first monograph Contested Gendering: A Decolonial Critique of Modern Receptions of Ancient Mythologies, a queer and decolonial study of modern receptions of Babylonian and Nahua mythologies based on his doctoral thesis. He has published articles and has given lectures and conference talks on a wide range of topics including cinema, fashion, mythologies, visual representation and yin-yang theory. He is also the chief editor of a forthcoming series of Chinese translations of queer theories from diverse languages and cultures.

ICI Project (2014-16)

The Ecological/Queer Penis: A Decolonial Reading of I-Ching’s Body-of-Orifices

Is there a different way of looking at the penis than immediately assuming its “presence” as opposed to the vagina’s purported “lack”? What if the penis is not phallic but hollow, a “lack” and a cavity? My project intends to theorize the hollow penis through the queer lens with a decolonial learning to learn from the non-phallo(go)centric and non-heteronormative understanding of the penis in Chinese Traditional Medicine via the I-Ching. Weaving together queer theorizations of embodiment and temporalities, interreligious dialogues on ecology, ancient texts and their modern receptions, the project aims to address the radical implications of the (non-modern) body-of-orifices connected and exchanging with each other and the “outside world”. It will bring seemingly unrelated cultures, histories, disciplines, languages and cosmologies into conversation and perversion. 

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