Revista de Estudios Sociales
Print version ISSN 0123-885X
ENG, David L. Expressive Desire in Stanley Kwan's Lan Yu. rev.estud.soc. [online]. 2007, n.28, pp. 104-117. ISSN 0123-885X.
Stanley Kwan's Lan Yu configures the emergence of homosexuality in contemporary China far beyond its validation in recognizably Western identitarian terms: the affirmation of an existing but misrecognized minority population; the defense of sexual "perversion"; the positing of sexual freedom, legal recognition, and political rights; the justification of a bourgeois consumer lifestyle, or even the expression of a universalizing and binding love bringing together two abstract individuals. Instead, in Kwan's film, homosexuality and its expressive desire mark the emergence of a new humanism in (post)socialist China under the shadows of global capitalism and neoliberal development. Gays and lesbians, that is, are harbingers of a new modernity, helping to situate China in its proper place within a cosmopolitan globalized world. From this perspective, homosexuality functions as a critical tool for organizing and evaluating the historical continuities and ruptures among China 's (semi)colonial past, its revolutionary aspirations for a socialist modernity, and its present investments in a neoliberal capitalist world order.
Keywords : China; neoliberalism; colonialism; capitalist modernity; socialist modernity; homosexuality; queerness; desire.