An ethnohistoric investigation of the operation and function of translation in the dissemination of Chinese Xiqu in the US: a study of three encounters

  • Hing Suen Teresa Wang

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In this study, the role of translation in the introduction of Chinese xiqu into the United States is examined using an anthropological approach. This study identifies three encounters that exemplify the three critical stages of acceptance of xiqu in the United States, and examines how translation operates and functions as a tool of cultural mediation in the introduction and promotion of xiqu there. The three critical encounters this study identifies are: the 19th century performance tours of Cantonese opera in San Francisco, the 1930s tour of Mei Lan-fang to the U.S., and the 2006 tour of Kenneth Pai's production of the Young Lover's Edition of the Peony Pavilion to the U.S. An ethnohistoric approach is adopted to reconstruct the contexts of the translators' decision-making with the purpose of highlighting the human factor in the process. Translations, first-hand paratextual materials and data collected in interviews facilitate the triangulation of analysis and verification. The result offers a critical understanding of translation in a cultural dissemination process by analyzing xiqu with an emphasis on the human factor.

Date of Award17 Sept 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJessica YEUNG (Supervisor)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese drama
  • Translations into English
  • History and criticism
  • Translating and interpreting
  • Anthropology
  • Ethnohistory

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