Info Session--Peking Opera Immersion Program, Summer 2018

The Shanghai Peking Opera Immersion Program will run as a pilot project in summer August 20-September 7,  2018. The program provides an unprecedented opportunity for Princeton students to engage in an intensive period of study and training in Chinese theater. It offers 3 weeks of intensive study and performance of the Northern style of Chinese drama (called “Peking Opera”) at the Shanghai Peking Opera Company (SPOC), based in Shanghai.

Return to River Town: Twenty Years in the Life of a Chinese City

Peter Hessler served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1996 to 1998 in Fuling, a small city in the Three Gorges region of the Yangtze River.  Since then, Hessler has made frequent visits back to Fuling, where the city has been transformed by the new dam and the rapid pace of China’s development.  Hessler will talk about the experience of witnessing such changes, and also about what he has learned from staying in touch with more than one hundred former students over a period of two decades.

Levees and Levies: Mapping the Yellow River in the Longue Durée

In the popular imagination, China’s Yellow River has always been sediment-choked and flood-prone. In fact, the historical and ecological record reveals that the highly unstable and intensively managed river existed for only a few hundred years. This talk describes how the ecological record and historical data analysis can enrich our understanding of the long history of human-environment interaction along the Yellow River.

China in WWII: Wartime Everydayness and the Globalization of the Second World War

This talk begins with a consideration of Japan’s surrender in China on September 9, 1945, in order to question the appropriateness of 1945 as the end date of WWII in Asia. The talk then considers the implications for our understandings of WWII in Asia of seeing 1945 not as an end-date but a mid point in a connected series of events that ended with the victory of the Chinese Communists in 1949. We will end with an initial consideration of wartime everydayness: what was the war like away from the battlefield as people constructed new normals? 

Was China the Source of the Plague?

Contemporaries of the 14th-century Black Death in Europe believed that the plague had come to them from China, thanks to the Mongols. This belief in Chinese origin gained support with the eruption of the third pandemic in the 1890s, when the plague traveled outward across the South China Sea and spread to many parts of the world, including the Americas. A few academic skeptics started to doubt the claim twenty years ago, but only on the basis of the then-current state of knowledge of the plague.

Time: The Memory of an Assassin and Problem of Legitimacy in the Wang Jingwei Regime (1940-45)

This article examines a curious poetry exchange around a painting in early 1942 between Wang Jingwei and the top officials of his regime at Nanjing, to investigate the functions of Wang’s iconography as an assassin in constructing the legitimacy of his collaborationist regime. Wang rose to national prominence in 1910, after his failed assassination attempt on the Manchu Prince Regent.

Site: The Impossibility of Remembering the Past at Nanjing

Nanjing, a city that served as the capital of multiple Chinese dynasties, mostly southern dynasties during eras of political division, has experienced repeated cycles of prosperity and conquest. Stephen Owen has explored how its poetic history has transposed the actual reality of the city, turning it into a “site of memory.” Here, however, I examine the close interaction between poems about Nanjing and contemporary historical events during the Republican period.

The Geopolitical Aesthetic of (Post-) Socialisms: China, Russia, and Beyond

Day I: Friday (9/29)

Breakfast 9:30-10 am

Panel 1: 10-12pm

Informational Legacies

Moderator: Franz Prichard (Princeton University)

Katherine M. H. Reischl (Princeton University)
A Shoe and a Faked Photograph: Chasing  “Facts” in Khrushchev’s Iconosphere

Angelina Lucento (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

In Search of a Proletarian Aesthetic: Anatolii Lunacharskii, Alfred Kurella, and the Turn to Materiality in Soviet Media Culture


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