Lecture: “Transnational Chinese Theatres and People’s Theatre Networks in East Asia”


Location: Zoom

Ferrari Graphic For Website







About the Lecture

This talk introduces the notion of transnational Chinese theatres as a practice and method of intercultural performance collaboration constituted by mobile networks of relations. Transnational Chinese theatres are conceptualized as a performative inflection of notions of minor transnationalism and inter-Asian referencing – or (trans-)Asia as method – which foregrounds collaboration as a generative site of transgressive national imagination and counter-memory. The performance series comprising of 38th Parallel Still Play and 38th Parallel in Taipei is examined to illustrate the trans-Asian ramifications of transnational Chinese theatres across grassroots performance communities of People’s Theatre practitioners in East Asia. Premièred in 2005 in Gwangju, South Korea, the series was co-devised by the Shanghai collective Grass Stage with collaborators from Taipei, Hong Kong, and Seoul to investigate contested histories of national atrocity through transnational comparison. The performances cross-reference the Korean division and the China-Taiwan conflict to reflect on traumatic memories of social movements and political protest and explore geopolitical relations in East Asia during and after the Cold War.


About the Speaker:

Rossella Ferrari is Professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. Her main expertise is in the performance cultures of the Chinese-speaking world. Her research interests include avant-garde studies, intercultural performance, intermediality, adaptation, memory studies, and transnational and inter-Asian approaches to the study of Sinophone cultural production. She is the author of Pop Goes the Avant-GardeExperimental Theatre in Contemporary China (2012) and Transnational Chinese TheatresIntercultural Performance Networks in East Asia (2020), and the co-editor of Asian City Crossings: Pathways of Performance through Hong Kong and Singapore (forthcoming, 2021).


Anton Juan

Anton Juan
Professor, Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at Notre Dame.

Tarryn Chun 1

Tarryn Chun
Professor, Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at Notre Dame.

Event Details

This event is part of the ongoing “Theatre for Justice in Asia: Past, Present, and Future” project led by Professors Anton Juan and Tarryn Chun. The project is supported by funding from the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies “Justice and Asia” Initiative

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