Hsiao-Yung Wang

Abstracts

6 A Rhetorical History of Legalization of Sex Reassignment Surgery in Taiwan: 'Transing-Nationalism' and Its Discursive Formation as the Case

Authors: Hsiao-Yung Wang

Abstract:

This essay aims to examine how the discursive formation of the 'transing-nationalism' (which is extended and slightly modified from 'homonationalism') had been constructed in the Taiwanese news media before the legalization of 'sex reassignment surgery (SRS)' in 1988. Samples for rhetorical analysis were selected from two mainstream newspapers, including China Times, and United Daily. The time frame for sample selection is from August 1953 (when the first transgender case was reported) to 1988, while the SRS was legalized in Taiwan. To enhance understanding of media representation as contextualized-based, the author refers to the representative of spatial rhetoric Mikhail Bakhtin for his late study on 'emergence' and 'visualization of time' in Bildungsroman; thereby categorizing the media discourse of transgender into two critical period: (1) transgender as 'misrecognized' and 'included' into the rhetoric of modern medical space; (2) transgender as 'institutionalized' into discourse of protection and salvation by the reified sympathy of nation-state. These two periods and relevant spatial rhetoric were of no immediate concern on the vital interest of transgender individuals; therefore constructed the imagery of transgender for the service of nationalism rather than gender consciousness or human right rhetoric. Based on the research findings, this essay concludes that 'queer multiplicity' should be regarded as not only the guideline for the amendment of the gendered policies and laws but the rhetorical resources for the mobilization of transgender movement in Taiwan from now on.

Keywords: Rhetoric, Transgender, Legalization, Bakhtin, sex reassignment surgery, transing-nationalism

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5 Toward a Radical/Populist Democracy from the Dialectical Tensions between Transgender Movement and Gay Movement in Taiwan: A Rhetorical Analysis

Authors: Hsiao-Yung Wang

Abstract:

This paper aims to elaborate the rhetorical strategies and its inherent dialectical tensions between transgender movement and gay movement in Taiwan; thereby, a radical/populist democratic model will be reproblematized for theorizing the internal dialogicity of the 'umbrella metaphor' of the so-called 'LGBT' label. Firstly, it examined how the representative gay community in Taiwan defined the category of 'LGBT' by its visual rhetoric of pride parade during the last two decades, and how the imaginary of 'transgender' was systematically precluded or even silenced by 'cisgender privilege' or 'cisnormativity' of the gay community in general. Secondly, it employed Laclau & Mouffe’s (1985) perspective of 'empty signifier' which derives from their radical democratic theorization and populist reason, to explore the rhetorical strategies and language tactics on which transgender activists relied for arguing or mapping both the cooperative and competitive relationship with cisgender allies intentionally. Based on research findings, this paper argued that a relationship between rather than an amalgamation of sexual orientation and gender identity should be recognized. Moreover, that resisting defining transgender as other and everyone else as normal could be the critical issue of LGBT community as a whole, especially while it proceeds toward to a radical/populist democracy.

Keywords: Rhetoric, Transgender, Radical Democracy, LGBT, empty signifier, populist reason

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4 Mikhail Bakhtin's Standpoint of Neo-Marxism and beyond: Bildungsroman as a Critique

Authors: Hsiao-Yung Wang

Abstract:

This paper aims to elaborate the standpoint of neo-Marxism of Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin by critical reading his concept of Bildungsroman; thereby, it aims to map the theoretical implication of spatial rhetoric and its time politics/emancipatory politics in late Bakhtin’s thought. First, it aims to outline the two revolving rings of spatiality in Bildungsroman, proceeding from 'recollecting the past' to 'foreseeing the future' on the basis of visuality and materialistic realism. Herein, Bakhtin has temporarily been leaving his previous research concern on polyphonic novel. Second, it aims to demonstrate that although Bakhtin has constantly emphasized the necessity of reconstructing opened future space, his insistence on 'emergence' has still generated a seemingly theoretical lacuna which needs to be filled. 'Doubled heterotopia,' as popularized by contemporary rhetorician Saindon, might be an adequate approach to articulate and present the rhetorical functions and dynamics of Bakhtin’s spatial rhetoric dialectically. Based on the research findings, this paper argues that Bakhtin indeed attempted to go beyond the deterministic model of Marxism and neo-Marxism strategically and reciprocally.

Keywords: Neo-Marxism, Emergence, Mikhail Bakhtin, visuality, Bildungsroman, double heterotopia, spatial rhetoric, time-politics

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3 From Name-Calling to Insidious Rhetoric: Construction and Evolution of the Transgender Imagery in News Discourse, 1953-2016

Authors: Hsiao-Yung Wang

Abstract:

This essay aims to examine how the transgender imagery has been constructed in the Taiwanese news media and its evolution from 1953 to 2016. It also explores the discourse patterns and rhetorical strategies in the transgender-related issues which contributed to levels of evaluation in forming ‘social deviance.’ Samples for analysis were selected from mainstream newspapers, including China Times, United Daily and Apple Daily. The time frame for sample selection is from August 1953 (when the first transgender case was reported in Taiwan) to June 2016. To enhance understanding of media representation as nominalistic-based, the author refers to the representative of critical rhetoric Raymie McKerrow for his study on remembrance and forgetfulness in public discourse (especially in his model of ‘critique of domination’); thereby categorizing the 64 years of transgender discourse into five periods: (1) transgender as ‘intersex’ of surgical-reparative medical treatment; (2) transgender as ‘freak gender-bender’ with criminal behaviors; (3) transgender as ‘ladyboy’ (‘katoey in a Thai term) of bar girls or sex workers; (4) transgender as ‘cross dresser’ of transvestite performance; and (5) transgender as ‘life-style or human right’ of spontaneous gender identification. Based on the research findings, this essay argues that the characterization of transgender reporting as a site for the production of compulsory sexism and gender stereotype by the specific forms of name-calling. Besides, the evolution of word-image addressing to transgender issues also pinpoints media as a reflection of fashion of the day. While the transgender imagery might be crystallized as ‘still social problems’ or ‘gender transgression’ in insidious rhetoric; and while the so-called ‘phobia’ persistently embodies in media discourse to exercise name-calling in an ambiguous (rather than in a bullying) way or under the cover of humanist-liberalist rationales, these emergent rhetorical dilemma should be resolved without any delay.

Keywords: Transgender, media representation, critical rhetoric, McKerrow, nominalistic, social deviance

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2 Exploring the Visual Roots of Classical Rhetoric and Its Implication for Gender Politics: Reflection upon Roman Rhetoric from a Bakhtin's Perspective

Authors: Hsiao-Yung Wang

Abstract:

This study aims to explore the visual roots of classical rhetoric and its implication for gender politics by the constant reference to Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of novelist time. First, it attempts to clarify the argument that “visuality always has been integral to rhetorical consciousness” by critically re-reading the rhetorical theories of roman rhetorician such as Cicero and Quintilian. Thereby, the vague clues of visuality would be realized from the so-called ‘five canons of rhetoric’ (invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery), which originally deriving from verbal and spoken rhetorical tradition. Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin’s elaboration of novelist time in contrast to epic time, it addresses the specific timeline inherent in the dynamics of visual rhetoric involves the refusing the ‘absolute past’, the focusing on unfinalized contemporary reality, and the expecting for open future. Taking the primary visions of Taipei LGBT parade over the past 13 years as research cases, it mentions that visuality could not only activate the rhetorical functions of classical rhetoric, but also inspire gender politics in the contemporary era.

Keywords: Gender Politics, Mikhail Bakhtin, classical rhetoric, visuality

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1 Toward a Methodology of Visual Rhetoric with Constant Reference to Mikhail Bakhtin’s Concept of “Chronotope”: A Theoretical Proposal and Taiwan Case Study

Authors: Hsiao-Yung Wang

Abstract:

This paper aims to elaborate methodology of visual rhetoric with constant reference to Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of “chronotope”. First, it attempts to outline Ronald Barthes, the most representative scholar of visual rhetoric and structuralism, perspective on visual rhetoric and its time-space category by referring to the concurrent word-image, the symbolic systematicity, the outer dialogicity. Second, an alternative approach is explored for grasping the dynamics and functions of visual rhetoric by articulating Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of “chronotope.” Furthermore, that visual rhetorical consciousness could be identified as “the meaning parabola which projects from word to image,” “the symbolic system which proceeds from sequence to disorder,” “the ideological environment which struggles from the local to the global.” Last but not least, primary vision of the 2014 Taipei LGBT parade would be analyzed preliminarily to evaluate the effectiveness and persuasiveness embodied by specific visual rhetorical strategies. How Bakhtin’s concept of “chronotope” to explain the potential or possible ideological struggle deployed by visual rhetoric might be interpreted empirically and extensively.

Keywords: barthes, chronotope, Mikhail Bakhtin, Taipei LGBT parade, visual rhetoric

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