When Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966, he halted production of Chinese fiction films, or “gushi pian,” and placed an emphasis on developing modern operas. To examine this cultural phenomenon, the final lecture of this year’s Croft Spring Speaker Series at the University of Mississippi features Nicole Huang, associate professor of Chinese at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Director of UW-Madison’s Center for East Asian Studies, Huang plans to examine the interface between the visual and the auditory in cinematic culture of late Mao China in “‘Azalea Mountain’ and the Soundscape of Late Mao Culture.”
The lecture, set for 7 p.m. April 13 in Room 107 of the Croft Institute for International Studies, is free and open to the public.
A modern Beijing opera, “Azalea Mountain” is a collection of eight model plays consisting entirely of Communist propaganda. They were the only plays performed during the entire 10-year Cultural Revolution.
At UW-Madison, Huang teaches 20th-century Chinese literature and visual culture. A native of China, she received her bachelor’s degree in Chinese literature from Beijing University before earning both her master’s and doctoral degrees in East Asian language and cultures from the University of California at Los Angeles.