Translating Homosexuality into Chinese: A Case Study of Pan Guangdan's Translation of Havelock Ellis' Psychology of Sex: A Manual for Students (1933)
Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies
Taylor & Francis
Reason for embargo
Before the translation of modern western works on sexology, China had created its own lexicon for sexuality, which was seen as either a temporary and changeable obsession or an expression of social status and taste, rather than an identity. This understanding was challenged when Western biologically based sexology was introduced. Centred on a case study of Pan Guangdan's (1946) translation of Havelock Ellis's Psychology of Sex: A Manual for Students (1933), in particular Chapter Five "Homosexuality" and Appendices, this paper investigates how western sexological discourse was translated and deployed in Republican China's quest for social and cultural modernity. It analyses the strategies that Pan adopted to translate terms and concepts related to homosexuality into Chinese and the evidential approach that he applied to trace and write a history of Chinese homosexual culture in the paratexts of his translation. In addition to shedding new light on global histories of sexuality, it also illustrates the role of translators in the development and interaction of different knowledge and knowledge systems across languages and cultures.
Published online: 12 February 2016