Andrea S. Goldman
- Associate Professor
- University of California, Los Angeles
Rethinking Ritual: Chinese Performance in Asian Historical and Comparative Contexts
The Frenchman and the Chinese Opera: Imperialism, Homoeroticism, and Transnational Masculinities in China, 1900-1950
This book analyzes the construction of normative sexuality in China from 1900 to 1950. Via intertwined biographies of French interpreter George Soulié and opera star Wang Yaoqing, this study traces the impact of imperialism on sex work in the late Qing capital and the professionalization of acting in China in the first half of the twentieth century. Soulié’s 1926 novella, “Bijou de Ceinture,” an adaptation of the 1849 work “Pinhua baojian,” offers a key window onto these changes. The original portrays the homoerotic elegance of the opera demimonde, while the rewrite marks the moment at which male-male sex was recast as backward. By analyzing the foreign military occupation of the capital, changing norms for commercial sex, and new transnational discourses about citizenship, this study offers a new perspective on the construction of masculinity in modern China.