Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women

Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women Volume 2: The Twentieth Century

Lily Xiao Hong Lee and Chen Yubing (eds.)
Sydney University Press

Though there exist many biographical dictionaries of the achievements of Chinese people throughout history, few women feature. Since the mid-1980s, researchers from the University of Sydney’s Department of Chinese Studies have been collecting the life stories of women whose academic, professional and technical achievements have had lasting impact on current and future generations. This volume contains over 300 biographies of these women, most of whom were born in China, though some were born abroad to Chinese parents, and some are foreigners whose work has become significant in China.

It is in the context of globalisation and a rapidly evolving Chinese society that the Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women: 1912–2000, is prepared. In the first half of the twentieth century, revolutionaries, political activists and reformers feature. Some are politicians, or who rose to powerful positions within the government. As new technologies and entertainments were developed, the latter half of the century gave birth to fearless female performers and scholars: actresses, dramatists and martial arts stars alongside scientists and lawyers. Throughout the century, the creative work of Chinese women is a constant theme – novelists, directors, painters and poets all feature.

This volume is accompanied by an index of names by profession, based on each woman’s most well-known research category, profession or skill; some women will appear in more than one category. To cater for readers who are not experts, this volume also includes a chronology of twentieth-century events.