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Zhu Yingtai's Gender Fluidity: A Critical and Sociohistorical Context for The Butterfly Lovers Canon and Gender Identity and Gender Performance in The Love Eterne

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dc.contributor.advisor Lin, Pauline
dc.contributor.advisor Glassman, Hank
dc.contributor.author Zheng, Stacy
dc.date.accessioned 2014-09-19T15:09:17Z
dc.date.available 2014-09-19T15:09:17Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/14762
dc.description Stacy Zheng was a Bryn Mawr College student.
dc.description.abstract The Legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (The Butterfly Lovers) is one of China's most well known love stories; it has been told and retold over the years. In the twentieth century, there have been many media adaptations of this ancient folklore: films, stage adaptations, television dramas, concertos, and even animated films directed toward young children. Not only does this demonstrate how Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai in The Butterfly Lovers are cultural icons that has withstood the test of the time, it also showcases exactly how pervasive the story is in Chinese media and popular culture. The process of each new variation and retelling gives a uniquely different perspective to the story as it also reflects the sociopolitical atmosphere of each retelling and interpretation. Due to the distinct popularity of The Legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, the story can be read in relation to China's sociopolitical changes and gender relations during the early to mid twentieth century by analyzing the dominant themes of gender performativity and the act of cross-dressing in various texts from the 1920s through the 1960s, as they also reflect the transformation of women's role at the time. By using Judith Butler's theories of gender performativity (which argues that gender can be defined based on an individual's actions and behavior and is not something that is predetermined or fixed by an individual's anatomy) and focusing it on Director Li Han Hsiang's film adaptation of The Butterfly Lovers, this essay examines Zhu Yingtai's gender fluidity and its broader socio-cultural implications1. Hsiang's The Love Eterne is the most recent, well known, and widely celebrated interpretation of the Liang-Zhu legend as it has enjoyed the "greatest circulation in the Chinese diasporas" and it is still quintessential interpretation that many people think of when they think of The Butterfly Lovers canon. Additionally, The Love Eterne has also been the subject of modern scholars in relation to this particular text in and of itself, it has produced a myriad of queer or alternative readings/adaptations and academic articles which I also want to explore in this project.
dc.description.sponsorship Bi-College (Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges). Department of East Asian Studies
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
dc.subject.lcsh Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingta
dc.subject.lcsh Gender identity in motion pictures -- China
dc.subject.lcsh Love eterne (Motion picture)
dc.title Zhu Yingtai's Gender Fluidity: A Critical and Sociohistorical Context for The Butterfly Lovers Canon and Gender Identity and Gender Performance in The Love Eterne
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access


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