December 3, 2021

Asian Embodiment of a White Canon: Shakespeare and the Sinophone World

Event Series: China and the West: Cultural Dialogues

Showing the Asian Embodiment of a White Canon: Shakespeare and the Sinophone World Video

Shakespeare’s tragedies have inspired incredible work in the Sinophone theatres of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The tragedies have been reimagined as political theatre, feminist operas, Buddhist meditations, and even comedies and parodies. In particular, Chinese, Hong Kong, and Taiwanese artists have used Shakespeare for socially reparative purposes. Appropriations by politicians and artists have tapped into Shakespeare’s perceived remedial functions. How do actors reposition their racialized bodies on stage and on screen? How do Sinophone cinema and feminism transform gender identities in Shakespeare? Bringing film and theatre studies together, this online conversation between Alexa Alice Joubin and Michael Scott shed new light on the two major genres in a comparative context in the Sinophone world. Tong Ping, international education specialist, offered an introduction, and Barnaby Power, a veteran of investment banking in Asia, moderated the Q&A.

This event was part of the China and the West: Cultural Dialogues series, sponsored by Georgetown University's Future of the Humanities Project (a partnership with Campion Hall, Oxford, and Blackfriars Hall, Oxford) in cooperation with the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding in London.


Alexa Alice Joubin writes about race, gender, and cultural globalization. She teaches in the Departments of English; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Theatre; International Affairs; and East Asian Languages and Literatures at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she co-founded and co-directs the Digital Humanities Institute. Her latest book, Shakespeare and East Asia, was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. She co-authored Race with Martin Orkin, which was published in Routledge’s New Critical Idiom series in 2019.

Michael Scott (moderator) is Fellow and Senior Dean at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. He is also senior adviser to the president of Georgetown University and leads the Future of the Humanities Project. He has previously served as pro vice chancellor at De Montfort University, Leicester, and was the founding vice chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University. His books include studies in Shakespeare and his contemporaries and in twentieth century theatre. He has been a fellow and visiting professor at two Chinese universities and published a book on King Arthur with the Foreign Research and Teaching Press in Beijing.