CHIN 227
Made in China or Making "China"?: Twentieth-Century Chinese Performative Culture Spring 2017 Division I; Cross-listed as THEA227 / CHIN227 / COMP227
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This course explores the ways in which twentieth-century Chinese performative culture fashioned our contemporary understanding of “China.” Starting with Chinese hybrid theatres staged in the US, Japan, and semicolonial Shanghai in the early 1900s and ending with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremonies, this course examines performative works drawn from the breadth of an expanded 20th century; including film, spoken drama, intercultural reproductions of Peking and Kun Operas, revolutionary and avant-garde theatre, Chinese Rock concerts, and global mass mediated performances. Emphasis will be placed on how performances (encompassing the performance onstage and the performance-making backstage) placed “China” on the global stage; and shaped racial, gender, and national identities among play-makers and audiences. We will also explore how Chinese operas were reinvented as “traditional culture” and a “national essence” in the early 20th century; and how agents of Chinese performance, as makers of imaginary worlds, serve as both assets and threats to real-life arbiters of power. The class will be structured around the themes of “Inventing Tradition on the World Stage,” “Acting the Right Part,” and “Performing the Nation.” Students will learn to engage performances as cultural texts embedded in national and global histories. By gaining knowledge about major playwrights, directors, artists, networks, and ideas, students will also become fluent in the landscape of performance culture in China. All class materials and discussions are in English.
The Class: Type: lecture/discussion
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 3823
Requirements/Evaluation: regular in-class participation, three short papers (3-5 pages), and one final project
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: students who major or plan to major in Chinese and/or Asian Studies
Distributions: Division I;

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