Conference: Realisms in East Asian Performing Arts

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October 1, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - October 3, 2020 @ 8:00 pm


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Realisms in East Asian Performing Arts proposes new considerations of realism on stage. Since its association with 19th-century innovations in European and American drama, theatrical realism has largely remained limited to Euro-American definitions. We explore conventions of realism in culturally-specific locations and times across East Asia, articulating alternative histories of realism that extend from the premodern into the present. Through our individual inquiries, we aim to broaden the term’s analytic power and shed collective light on the diversity and versatility of this important representational mode.

The conference will end with a reading of the early twentieth-century play The Son, by pioneer of modern Japanese theatre Osanai Kaoru. Translated into English by David Jortner, performed by LAUNCH PAD of UCSB’s Department of Theater and Dance.

Conference Participants: Jyana Browne (University of Maryland), Xing Fan (University of Toronto), Man He (Williams College), David Jortner (Baylor University), Jieun Lee (Wake Forest University), Siyuan Liu (University of British Columbia), Jessica Nakamura (UCSB), Cody Poulton (University of Victoria), Katherine Saltzman-Li (UCSB), Catherine Swatek (University of British Columbia), Guojun Wang (Vanderbilt University), Miseong Woo (Yonsei University), Min-Hyung Yoo (Korea University), Soo Ryon Yoon (Lingnan University), Ji Hyon (Kayla) Yuh (Montclair State University), with Risa Brainin (UCSB) and William Davies King (UCSB)

The conference is open to the public, but registration is required. For registration, schedule, and conference information, please visit our website:

Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB Departments of Theater and Dance, East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, History, Comparative Literature, Art and Architecture, Carsey-Wolf Center, East Asia Center, College of Letters and Science, and Abdulhamit Arvas


October 1, 2020 @ 2:00 pm
October 3, 2020 @ 8:00 pm
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