The IICS Public Lecture and the 52nd Confucius PhD Student Forum Held Successfully


On November 28, 2023, the public lecture of Irish Institute for Chinese Studies  and the 52nd Confucius PhD Forum was held successfully at UCD. The guest speaker Professor Xie Jiangnan from Remin University of China delivered the lecture entitled "Acculturation and Hybridity: Shakespeare and Traditional Chinese Theater". Professor Xie also serves as the Chinese Director of the UCD Confucius Institute . Her research interests include British drama studies, contemporary American studies, and theatre theory. The forum took place through a hybrid format (both online and offline) and attended by nearly a hundred people.

At the lecture, Professor Xie explored the changes that occur when traditional Chinese theatre techniques are applied to perform Shakespearean plays and analyzed the interaction between Shakespearean drama and traditional Chinese theatre from the perspective of cross-cultural theatre studies. At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Xie introduced the topic by showcasing performance videos, allowing the audience to intuitively appreciate and experience the unique features of these performances. Subsequently, Professor Xie delved deeply into the analysis of three representative cases: "Bloody Hands" from 1984, "The Prince's Revenge" from 2005, and "Richard III" from 2012. She elaborated on the stages of cultural integration in each case from the perspectives of "adaptation," "cultural integration," and "hybridity," elucidating the periodic characteristics of cultural fusion in each piece and summarizing the commonalities and specificities within the evolving transformations.

Professor Xie noted that Shakespearean drama serves as a medium for the Chinese to understand Western culture and appreciate the beauty of traditional Chinese theatre. Simultaneously, many Western theatre professionals and audiences gain visibility into and appreciation for Chinese traditional theatre through Shakespearean drama. These interactions witnessed the visibility of Chinese traditional theatre adapted to perform Shakespearean plays on stages across Europe and worldwide. Moving from adaptation to integration, the poetic language, rich content, and philosophical thoughts of Shakespeare merge with the visibility and imagery of Chinese traditional theatre, demonstrating a progression from adaptation to cultural fusion and hybridization. This cross-cultural exchange in theatre is not unidirectional but reciprocal, benefiting both Chinese and Western theatre, fostering a new form of theatre that amalgamates Shakespeare with traditional Chinese theatre.

At the Q&A session, Professor Xie engaged in interactive discussions with the audience on topics such as whether theatre should preserve tradition or innovate and open-source. After the forum, Professor Wang Liming, Director of the UCD Confucius Institute, presented an honorary certificate and commemorative gifts to Professor Xie. This lecture was well received by enthusiastic audience.