A Frenchman at the Chinese Opera Circa 1900

Andrea S. Goldman, Assistant Professor, Department of History, UCLA

This talk adopts an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective to understand a formative moment in the construction of normative sexuality in early twentieth-century China.  The window onto this transformation comes through a paired reading of Chen Sen’s 陳森novel, Pinhua baojian (1849) against the adaptation of the same story sixty-plus years later by the French interpreter-diplomat George Soulié de Morant (1878-1955).  The first work portrays the homoerotic elegance that accompanied the opera demimonde in the Qing capital.  The second marks the moment at which the refined culture of male-male commercial sex in China was recast as backward and tawdry.  This collapse of the culture of homoerotic elegance, I will show, was a casualty of foreign aggression in China circa 1900.  W

Thursday, June 06, 2013 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm | RSVP
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Center for East Asian Studies