Wednesday Lunch Talk -- Transnational Polygamy: Law, Marriage, & Fujianese Migration Early in the 20th Century
A presentation by Huey Bin Teng, doctoral candidate in history
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
11377 Bunche Hall
This talk investigates marital relations in the polygamous transnational family through the lens of law. It specifically addresses the Fujian migrants’ customary practice of transnational polygamy and the conflicting implications of the legal codes (including Qing, republican, and British) on their cross-border marital conflicts played out in colonial courts. By utilizing concrete legal cases and personal oral testimonies, it highlights the cooperation and competition within the polygamous transnational family such as that among the principal wife, secondary wife, and mistress across temporal and spatial constraints. The study also looks beyond the confines of the colonial courts and examines the marital arrangements intentionally neglected by the colonial judiciary. It will show the interplay between code and custom, legal proceedings and informal mediation through an analysis of polygamous Christian marriages.
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