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Performing Absence, Translating 'China': The Aesthetics of Politics & Identity (De)Construction in Stan Lai's Xiangsheng Plays

Taiwan Studies Lecture by Chun-yen Wang, National Chung Hsing University

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Presentation Room, Young Research Library

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NOTE: Event start time has changed.

Chun-yen Wang, National Chung Hsing University

Discussant: Robert Chi (UCLA)

The presentation looks into the way in which Stan Lai challenges the concept “China” as the nation-state by examining the style of his xiangsheng plays. In an attempt to shed light on Chiu Kuei-fen’s notion of the “translation drive,” the article starts with an investigation of the cultural production of so-called “tradition” and “native soil” (xiang-tu), which has supported the cultural imagination of the nation-state in post-war Taiwan. It goes on to analyze Lai’s xiangsheng plays in relation to these two concepts. Finally, inspired by Naoki Sakai’s notion of translation, it argues that the “China” in Lai’s xiangsheng plays presents an alternative to the nation-state by their articulation of the discontinuity of history and the deconstruction of the national subject.

The UCLA Taiwan Studies Lectureship is a joint program of the UCLA Asia Institute and the Dean of Humanities and is made possible with funding from the Department of International and Cross-Strait Education, Ministry of Education, Taiwan, represented by the Education Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles.

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies