Chinese drama (classical and modern), comparative drama, literary translation.
Her current research project is focused on Lao She's dramatic work. Modern Chinese drama (huaju) has been closely linked to the social and political conditions of the country ever since its introduction to China in the early twentieth century. Its use of spoken dialogue and realistic portrayal of life made it an ideal vehicle to promote social reforms, to be used as wartime propaganda, and to serve politics as Mao Zedong called for in his “Yan’an Talks on Literature and Art” (1942), which remained the official policy until the late 1970s. Shiao-ling Yu examines the relationship between politics and theater by focusing on the dramatic works of Lao She (1899-1966), one of the most important modern Chinese writers. His twenty-two plays were written during a thirty-year period of cataclysmic changes in China, including the Japanese invasion, and shift of government from Nationalist to Communist. The plays illuminate the function of drama in contemporary Chinese society and how changing political climates affect the production and reception of dramatic works.
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