2016-2017 School of Chinese Seminar
Eunuchs are not all chou 丑 Roles:
The Historical Zheng He 鄭和 and the Fictional Chen Lin 陳琳
in Two Newly Edited Beijing Operas
Professor Jennifer W. Jay (謝慧賢)
University of Alberta (加拿大阿爾伯達大學古典學歷史學系)
Time: 4:00-5:30 pm, 8 June 2017 (Thursday)
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Of the several thousand Chinese eunuchs for whom we have names, only a few are not ridiculed as negative characters in Chinese history and popular culture. In opera they are most often seen in chou 丑 or clown roles, but in two newly edited Beijing operas, Zheng He 鄭和 (1371-1433) and Chen Lin 陳琳are cast in principal and principled roles. In Tianjin Qingnian jingjv tuan’s Zheng He xia xiyang 鄭和下西洋，Meng Guanglu 孟廣祿 (1948-) plays the role of Zheng He, who ventured out on seven naval voyages to as far as the east coast of Africa. In Shanghai jingjv tuan’s Limao huan taizi 狸貓換太子 Chen Shaoyun 陳少雲 (1948-) performs the role of Chen Lin, who sacrificed his life saving the infant, the future Song Renzong 宋仁宗 (r.1010-1963). The main objective of this paper is to compare and contrast the representation of the historical Zheng He and the fictional Chen Lin.
Jennifer Jay is professor of History and Classics at the University of Alberta, She teaches Chinese history, women’s studies, and Chinese opera while her research is focused on Tang, Song, and Yuan history.
ALL ARE WELCOME