A Thousand Transformations and Ten Thousand Fantasies: Musicality, Worldmaking, and Music Theory in Sinitic Opera


Luce/ACLS Early Career Fellowships in China Studies – Long-Term



Named Award

Long-term named award


This book presents a new approach to understanding the epistemic conditions of listening across ideological divides. It assembles novel music analytical, historical, and ethnographic insights from multiple field sites to reveal the conceptual metaphors and musical schemata that undergird Taiwanese opera and Huangmei opera listening practices. Moreover, the project unpacks place-based ideological contexts underlying these metaphors—including yin-yang and Daoist-inflected ideals of changeability, unfathomability, and categorical capaciousness—and in turn both reveals and unsettles the epistemic and political commitments of dominant academic listening practices.