Professor Dorothy Ko

In recognition of the 19th Amendment's centennial anniversary, the New York Public Library (NYPL) recently released its "Essential Reads on Feminism for Adults" list. Among the 126 titles recognized was The Birth of Chinese Feminism, co-edited by Barnard professor of history Dorothy Ko, Columbia's Wun Tsun Tam professor in the humanities Lydia H. Liu, and NYU professor of history Rebecca E. Karl.

The expansive list encompassed a variety of genres, from memoir to poetry, and included notable names in women's rights, such as Gloria Steinem, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and bell hooks. 

For The Birth of Chinese Feminism, Ko, Liu, and Karl translated and annotated the essays of prominent Chinese theorist He-Yin Zhen (ca. 1884-1920). By analyzing He-Yin's work and life story alongside the theories of her male contemporaries, the professors demonstrated the revolutionary nature of He-Yin's feminism and her original and contemporary perspectives on sex, gender, labor, and power.