Assistant Professor in Theatre Studies, Siyuan (Steven) Liu, has received the SSHRC Insight Grant worth $105,110 for 2016-2019. The project is titled “Cultural Translation and The Impact of Euro-American-Educated Practitioners on Modern Chinese Theatre.”
Here’s a brief description:
This project is a comprehensive study of the concrete links and broad patterns of cultural translation in the formation of modern Chinese theatre (huaju). It investigates the impact of China’s first generation of huaju students returning from North America and Europe in the 1920s and 1930s who significantly shaped the path of huaju’s dramaturgy and production through translation, adaption, directing, and theatrical education. As a result of their Euro-American education, they were able to translate and adapt not only contemporary Western plays but also the broader theatrical and cultural climate of the age in a manner that was closer to Chinese theatrical and cultural traditions, making huaju, a Western-oriented theatre, appealing to the audience and manageable by its largely amateur performers. Their efforts at cultural translation, instead of strictly literary translation of the scripts and blind reproduction of the original mise-en-scène, provided crucial breathing room for the audience and practitioners to mature, eventually helping huaju become a national form that was constitutive of China’s cultural modernity.