Howard Chiang Wins Book Prize For 'After Eunuchs'

historic photo of eunuchs in two lines carrying empress dowager in sedan chair
Palace eunuchs carry and accompany the Qing empress dowager, before 1908

book cover of After Eunuchs by Howard Chiang, UC Davis historianUC Davis historian Howard Chiang’s book on gender and sexuality in modern China has won the Humanities Book Prize from the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS).

After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China (Columbia University Press, 2018) was selected from more than 400 books submitted for ICAS prizes. The award was announced July 16 at the opening ceremony of the ICAS conference in Leiden, Netherlands. The ICAS awards book prizes in two categories — social sciences and humanities — every other year.

A far-reaching history 

Chiang’s book is “a sophisticated and unique study of sexual knowledge production in modern China” that sifts through “an immense wealth of scientific and medical writings and popular vernacular material” from the late Qing and republican China, as well as late 20th century debates about transsexuality and queer activism, the ICAS wrote in its award announcement.

Portrait photo of author, a UC Davis scholar of China and transgender Asian historyChiang, an associate professor, joined the Department of History in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science in 2017 after teaching at universities in England and Canada. His research focuses on the cultural and global history of modern China, with an emphasis on the history of science, medicine, gender and sexuality.

— Kathleen Holder, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science

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