Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Annie Cheng L&S Arts & Humanities

Gender, Migration, and Nature in Zheng Xiaoqiong’s Labor Poetry

Labor poetry in China emerged from the growing exploitation of migrant workers in the
post-reform era. Zheng Xiaoqiong 郑小琼, a worker-turned-poet has gained attention through her writing of female migrant workers’ gendered experience of the highly mechanized, desexualizing process of industrial production. While her work has received critical attention from feminist and eco-critical angles, it has often been read within a narrow factory setting.

This project aims at filling the gap through close-reading Zheng’s work via an ecofeminist synthesis, which relates the oppression of women to that of nature. I hope to take her poems into the intersection between class, gender, and nature in 21st century China. The depiction of nature in Zheng’s work invites us to rethink the following questions: In what way does the poetic evocation of a native land counter the gendered violence in industrial production? And how does it allow for the reclaiming of female identity lost in real-life experience?

Message To Sponsor

Thank you for nurturing this vital dialogue about the interconnectedness of nature and labor through your generosity. Your support empowers my endeavor in this journey. I look forward to learning and growing as a young scholar this summer and beyond.
Major: Comparative Literature and Economics
Mentor: Andrew Jones
Sponsor: Anselm A&H Fund
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