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Talk: Cultures and Trajectories of the Avant-garde in the Chinese Performing Arts
Date: 3 December 2009 

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures and the Journalism and Media Studies Centre invite you to a public talk:

Avant-garde, Pop Avant-garde, Trans-avant-garde? Cultures and Trajectories of the Avant-garde in the Chinese Performing Arts

Dr. Rossella Ferrari
School of Oriental and African Studies, The University of London

Date: 3 December 2009 (Thursday)
Time: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Venue: Room 230, Knowles Building, The University of Hong Kong
Language: English        

It is often argued that consumerism, market economy and mass culture - especially when accompanied by authoritarian political structures - are detrimental to the evolution of innovative movements and almost invariably lead to the "death of the avant-garde". However, recent developments in the Chinese performing arts provide evidence that socio-economic change and even institutional restrictions can also be seen as opportunities for creative (re-)generation.

In her talk, Dr. Ferrari will reflect on new ways of conceptualizing the avant-garde by shifting the debate away from a purely West-centric perspective and by looking at the cultural exchanges taking place within and across the borders of Greater China. She will also discuss attempts, both in China and Hong Kong, to make elite cultural discourses more accessible to a general audience without diluting their meaningfulness from a cultural, social or aesthetic standpoint.

About the speaker:
Dr. Rossella Ferrari is a Lecturer in Modern Chinese Culture and Language at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. In 2006, she won the European Association for Chinese Studies' Young Scholar Award for her paper "Pop Goes the Avant-garde: Meng Jinghui and the Latest Developments in Chinese Avant-garde Theatre". She has recently completed a book-length manuscript entitled "Pop Goes the Avant-garde. Experimental Theatre in Contemporary China".

Please click this link to view the poster:

Admission is free. All are welcome.

For enquiries, please contact Georgina Challen at

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