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CGED Research Seminar Series

Transnationalizing Transgender: Tracey, Queer Globalities, and Regionalism


Speaker: Alvin K. Wong, Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Literature, School of Humanities, HKU

Respondent: Brenda Alegre, Lecturer, Gender Studies Programme, School of Humanities, HKU

Moderator: Mercedes Vázquez, Lecturer and Honorary Assistant Professor, Spanish Programme, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, HKU

Date: 23 February 2022 (Wednesday)

Time: 5:00 PM

Delivery: via Zoom

This talk demonstrates that studying queer Hong Kong requires an alternative framework of “queer globalities.” Conceptually, queer globalities illustrates the convergent dynamics of global queer rights discourses, local geopolitics, and pink dollar industries within the global modernities of queer Asia. The first part of this talk offers a queer transnational analysis of the transgender film Tracey (2018) by mapping the condition of being transgender through multiple queer temporalities and transnational spaces. The next section offers a critical legal analysis of LGBT rights in Hong Kong. If Tracey tells the transwoman narrative of Tai-hung through its linkage to global discourses of gay rights and queer migration, A Woman is a Woman (2018) directed by Maisy Suen cannot be more different. The film narrates the struggle of a married transwoman named Sung Chi Yu and the life of a high school feminine boy Chiu Ling Fung, who is considering to undergo sex reassignment surgery. In November 2020, the film producer Mimi Wong also successfully launched a series of transgender photo exhibition and public workshops inspired by the film. Overall, this paper considers the “trans” of transgender as a prefix that highlights transnational movement, trans-mobility, and trans-medial creativity.

Alvin K. Wong is Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature at HKU. His research spans across the fields of Hong Kong literature and cinema, Chinese literary and cultural studies, Sinophone studies, queer theory, transnational feminism, and the environmental humanities. He is writing a book titled Queer Hong Kong as Method. He has published in journals such as Journal of Lesbian Studies, Gender, Place & Culture, Culture, Theory, and Critique, Concentric, Cultural Dynamics, Continuum, and Interventions and in edited volumes such as Transgender China, Queer Sinophone Cultures, and Fredric Jameson and Film Theory. He also coedited the volume Keywords in Queer Sinophone Studies (Routledge, 2020). Wong is currently an associate editor of the Journal of Intercultural Studies

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