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‘A Frenchman’s View of Chinese Opera’ topic of Next Modern China Lecture at CSUSB

‘A Frenchman’s View of Chinese Opera’ topic of Next Modern China Lecture at CSUSB

4 weeks ago
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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Chinese opera will be the topic of the next Modern China Lecture when Andrea S. Goldman presents her talk, “A Frenchman’s View of Chinese Opera, Circa 1900,” on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at Cal State San Bernardino.

Goldman, an associate professor and vice chair for undergraduate affairs at UCLA who specializes in the cultural and social history of early modern and modern China, will focus on the work of Frenchman George Soulié (1878-1955), who was an interpreter of China to the West. Her talk will begin at noon in University Hall, UH-106.

The event is free and open to the public; parking at CSUSB is $6.

Soulié traveled to Beijing in 1901 to work as a translator for the Chinese Railway Association. Soulié returned to Paris a decade later but, as his publishing record shows, he retained a passion for China.

Among the more curious of Soulié’s writings is his 1925 adaptation of Chen Sen’s novel, “Pinhua baojian” (1849). Chen’s novel provides an important window onto the male-male sex trade in the Qing capital.

Goldman’s talk traces the circuitous route by which the homoeroticism of the original was refracted through a sympathetic but Orientalist filter in Soulié’s remake, and then was suppressed in a “sexual modernization” of China post-1900.

Goldman’s first book, “Opera and the City: The Politics of Culture in Beijing, 1770-1900,” uses opera as a lens to observe court and city dynamics in Qing dynasty Beijing.

She is currently working on two new projects: the first is a transnational look at the transformation of the ancillary commercial sex culture surrounding Chinese opera performance circa 1900; the second is a history of gossip from roughly 1750-1850.

Goldman toured Taiwan with a semi-professional xiangsheng (Chinese comedy) troupe; and while conducting her dissertation research in China, after archive hours, she apprenticed with a professional xiangsheng master in Beijing.

The Modern China Lecture Series was initiated to promote awareness of important issues related to China for those on the CSUSB campus and in the community. In the series of more than 35 lectures, workshops, film screenings and roundtable forums since January 2014, China scholars from UC San Diego, UC Riverside, the Claremont Colleges, UCLA, USC, UC Irvine and other institutions have visited the CSUSB campus to share their expertise and opinions.

Speakers in the series have included specialists in history, economics, political science, philosophy, finance, security studies, literature, anthropology and other fields. Look for upcoming events from renowned scholars including Sarah Schneewind (UCSD) on Feb. 2, Morris Rossabi (Columbia) also in February, and Weijing Lu (UCSD) in May.

The Modern China Lecture Series is sponsored by the CSUSB history department, History Club/Phi Alpha Theta, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Extended Learning, the Center for Global Management/Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, John M. Pfau Library, Margaret Hill and the World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California, and the Intellectual Life Fund. Special thanks also to Pamela Crosson (history), Alan Llavore (Strategic Communication) and James Trotter (ATI).

For more information on the Nov. 28 event or the Modern China Lecture Series, contact Jeremy Murray, associate professor of history, at jmurray@csusb.edu.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.

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