University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Chinese Community and Theatre in the Netherlands East Indies: Reclaiming an Occluded History

16 October 2013 (11:00-13:00)

The School of International Studies is pleased to invite you to a seminar presented by Mr Josh Stenberg, Lecturer in the School of Foreign Languages and PhD candidate in Chinese Theatre and Drama, Nanjing University. This talk is part of the School's Postgraduate Research Seminar Series.

About the seminar

Sino-Indonesian figures have marked Indonesian culture in every field and every era. However, received cultural history today is deeply marked by the institutional anti-Chinese prejudice of Suharto's New Order regime (1965-98), which largely sought to write the Chinese out of their accounts of the formation of the nation. Substantial efforts, often in Chinese or Western languages, have been made recently to restore knowledge of the crucial influence of Sino-Indonesians on the development of a national literature, but contributions in the development of theatre remain little-known.
Chinese groups in the late colonial era (for the purposes of this presentation, 1900-49) were key movers in the development of theatre. This presentation will examine Chinese contributions to commercial theatre, social theatre, political theatre, and puppet theatre in the formative era of the Indonesian national identity, arguing that as Indonesia increasingly recognises that its multiculturalism includes "non-(pribumi) indigenous" contributions, the role of Chinese performers, playwright and patrons can be highlighted without detracting from the achievements of Indonesian theatre arts.

Speaker biography

Josh Stenberg, a lecturer of the School of Foreign Languages and PhD candidate (presently ABD) in Chinese Theatre and Drama, Nanjing University. His PhD thesis: "Minority as Performance: Public and Theatrical Expression in the Sino-Indonesian Context". He studied MA in Asian Studies in the University of British Columbia and BA in East Asian Studies in Harvard College. He was the Protocol Officer in 2010 Expo, of the Canada Pavilion. From 2005 to 2007, Josh has been the sponsorship and Foreign Cooperation Liaison in Jiangsu Province Kunju Theatre.