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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Online webinar
Event date: 
Wednesday, 17 March, 2021 - 17:00 to 18:30
Event organiser: 

China Research Seminar given by Dr Maggie Greene, Montana State University

Registration for this event

Drama Reform & Cultural Transformation in the People's Republic of China

In this talk, Dr Greene will discuss her recent monograph, Resisting Spirits: Drama Reform & Cultural Transformation in the People's Republic of China, a study of the role of traditional culture and cultural reform in Maoist China. Combining archival documents with a variety of rare manuscript materials, Resisting Spirits explores the debates over the role of traditional Chinese theatre (xiqu), particularly the celebrated genre of ghost opera. Challenging perceptions of what cultural production in the high socialist period looked like, Resisting Spirits shows the lengths to which artists and writers went in trying to reform beloved popular culture for new political contexts, as well as the political ramifications of artistic experimentation and debate. Dr Greene shows how integral the debate over ghosts was to shifting political tides, particularly the lead-up to the Cultural Revolution and will also discuss the relevance of Mao-era cultural regulation and reform to the contemporary PRC.

Maggie Greene is an Associate Professor of History at Montana State University. She is the author of Resisting Sprits: Drama Reform and Cultural Transformation in the People's Republic of China (University of Michigan Press, 2019). Her research explores cultural transformation in China across time and space, and the relationship of cultural production to politics. She has published articles on subjects ranging from opera, to mahjong in the late Qing and Republican periods, to the cultural and political ‘performance’ of Chinese expeditions to Mt. Everest in the high socialist period. Her second project considers the role of global popular culture, from American children's books to Japanese videogames, in post-Mao China, and the ways in which cultural workers and fans have reworked and reused global pop culture within a Chinese context.

Professor Adam Yuet Chau: