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Defining Tunes of the Chinese Diaspora

Event flyer - APSI Speaker Series - Event Details - Speaker headshot
Friday, October 21, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Nancy Rao (Rutgers University)
APSI Speaker Series

The defining tunes of the Chinese diaspora in the nineteenth century and the early twentieth were those of the Cantonese opera. This history has been invisible due to the scarcity of Chinese materials in archives. Its sonic imageries were also imprisoned by the mounting derision in historical English newspapers and travelogues. What were the patterns of networks and migrations that made Chinese opera a part of North American cultures? How did border crossing, listening practices, and visual emblems constitute their sounding identity? This talk offers readings against the grain to consider the ways that archives structure and frame not only our understanding of the past but how we enter into the present and future.

About the speaker:
Nancy Yunhwa Rao has produced award-winning research on a range of topics, including gender and music, sketch studies, music modernism, cultural fusion in music, racial representations, and the music history of early Chinese Americans.

Her publications have provided innovative analytical approaches to cross-cultural music, and enhanced public discussions about cultural encounter in music. Through her scholarship, as well as teaching, she has promoted diversity and advanced knowledge and dialogue about the complexity of diversity issues in music scholarship.