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In the Event of Women

In the Event of Women

by Tani Barlow

Published by: Duke University Press Books

336 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 121 illustrations

  • ISBN: 9781478014447
  • Published: October 2021

£20.99

In the Event of Women outlines the stakes of what Tani Barlow calls “the event of women.” Focusing on the era of the late nineteenth century through the mid 20th century Cultural Revolution, Barlow shows that an event is a politically inspired action to install a newly discovered truth, in this case the mammal origins of human social evolution. Highbrow and lowbrow social theory circulating in Chinese urban print media placed humanity's origin story in relation to commercial capital's modern advertising industry and the conclusion that women's liberation involved selling, buying, and advertising industrial commodities. The political struggle over how the truth of women in China would be performed and understood, Barlow shows, means in part that an event of women was likely global because its truth is vested in biology and physiology. In so doing, she reveals the ways in which historical universals are effected in places where truth claims are not usually sought. This book reconsiders Alain Badiou's concept of the event; particularly the question of whose political moment marks newly discovered truths.