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Prof. Dorothy Ko on the legacy of Chinese foot binding

In The Los Angeles Times, history professor Dorothy Ko is quoted in an article about the practice of Chinese foot binding, and the last living women who followed the tradition in their youth. An excerpt:

""It was a strong tradition passed from mother to daughters, entangled with shoemaking, how to endure pain and how to attract men. In many ways, it underpinned women's culture," says Dorothy Ko, a history professor at Barnard College in New York and author of Cinderella's Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding.

"It is hard to romanticize the practice and I am happy to see it go, but it is a pity there is no comparable, but obviously less painful, practice to take its place and bond generations," Ko says."

Read the full article.

Prof. Ko is a cultural historian who specializes in gender and body in early modern China. Her current research focuses on women's artistry and skills in textiles, which constitute an alternative knowledge system to male-centered textual scholarship. Her teaching interests also include the history of women and gender in East Asia; feminist theories; and visual and material cultures.