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Absent Presence: Costuming and Personhood in Early Qing Drama A Ten-Thousand Li Reunion

The Indiana University East Asian Studies Center hosts a lecture by Professor Guojun Wang, the first talk in its Fall 2017 East Asian Colloquium Series. 
 
When:
September 8, 2017 12:00pm to 1:15pm
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The Indiana University East Asian Studies Center hosts a lecture by Professor Guojun Wang, the first talk in its Fall 2017 East Asian Colloquium Series. 
 
The Ming-Qing transition in the mid-seventeenth century shaped Chiense drama in significant yet unexplored ways. The Manchu government's hair and dress regulations endangered a sartorial landscape with discrepant dress codes in different social and theatrical spaces. Costuming, accordingly, connected persons, dramas, and early Qing history. Professor Wang explores the relation between costuming and personhood in early Qing drama through the case of Wanli yuan 萬里圓 (A Ten-thousand Li Reunion), a play about a Chinese family separated and then reunited through the dynastic transition. Starting by considering the surprising absence of costume instruction in the play scripts, Professor Wang examines textual fragments, woodblock illustrations, and performance records to demonstrate how the drama dresses its characters as members of a Chinese family and subjects of changing states. The study shows that theatrical costuming in early Qing drama provided a productive way to reconnect bodies and clothes dissociated by political turbulence, thus giving rise to different types of personhood in response to the historical changes. 
Cost: 
Free and Open to the Public
Phone Number: 
(812) 855-3765

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