From “female bodhisattva with a she-devil face” to “female general of the anarchist party”: Biographies of Louise Michel in Early 20th-Century China

This article illuminates a little-known legacy of the Paris Commune in China: Chinese biographies of Louise Michel in the late Qing and early Republican periods (1897-1917). Providing an overview of the biographies and their historical contexts, the article shows how Michel—one of the leading figures of the Paris Commune—became part of a pantheon of radical Western women exemplars in China. In this period of rapid political, social, and cultural change for China, Michel’s example inspired moderate and radical intellectuals and activists, providing a vector for thinking through issues ranging from revolutionary thought and history to feminism, nationalism, and modernization.

Cecilia Feilla
Marymount Manhattan College
Volume 49.3–4