“Contemporary Theater Performance” Seminar Series No. 3
März 18, 2021, 14:00 - 15:30
How can we rethink Chinese-language theatres from the perspective of the transnational? What are the advantages of looking at the performance cultures of the Chinese-speaking world through a trans-Asian lens? What can the “trans-” signify in the performances of the Sinophone? Unlike the field of Sinophone cinemas, where “trans-” approaches, particularly the transnational, have been debated widely, there has not yet been a comprehensive theoretical reflection of the agentive implications of trans-ing for the performances of the contemporary Sinosphere, including the performances of memory. Based on the recent monograph, Transnational Chinese Theatres: Intercultural Performance Networks in East Asia (Palgrave, 2020), this talk will introduce the notion of transnational Chinese theatres as a practice and method of performance collaboration constituted by mobile networks of relations. Transnational Chinese theatres present 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 counter-memory and transgressive imagination. An overview of recent transnational networks and works originating within the East Asian Sinosphere will show how collaborative practice can mobilize multiple dimensions of the “trans-” – transmediality, translingualism, translation, transcoloniality – to reconstitute Sinophone performance cultures as platforms for transgressively reconfiguring the nation and enabling the collective memorialization of contested national histories through transnational comparison.
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-Garde: Experimental Theatre in Contemporary China (2012) and Transnational Chinese Theatres: Intercultural Performance Networks in East Asia (2020), and the co-editor of Asian City Crossings: Pathways of Performance through Hong Kong and Singapore (forthcoming 2021).