Liana Chen is an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she is affiliated with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and teaches courses on traditional and modern Chinese fiction and drama, film, and women writers.
With the support of an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) research fellowship, she is writing a book on ideological constructions of empire and theatre in the Qing dynasy. Professor Chen has published on the Empress Dowager Cixi, Qing ritual drama, performance history of The Peony Pavilion, and xiqu (Chinese opera) conventions.
A specialist of Qing-dynasty court theatre, Tang Xianzu studies, and traditional Chinese drama especially kunqu opera, she was a visiting scholar at Harvard University and subsequently at the Chinese National Academy of Arts in Beijing, and has taught at Stanford and Penn State before joining GW.
She is currently working on two monographs. Tentatively titled Staging the Empire: A History of Qing Court Theatre, 1662-1924, the first book examines the political and aesthetic roles of court theatre in imperial China. The second book, Kunqu Performance of Peony Pavilion in Ming and Qing Dynasties, is a comprehensive history of the performance and reception of Tang Xianzu's Mudan ting (Peony Pavilion).
Professor Chen has contributed to the local, national, and international communities as a consultant for the 2011-2012 exhibition on "Power | Play: China's Empress Dowager" at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art in Washington, D.C., the GW Textile Museum liaison, Study Abroad liaison, Foreign Language Advisor for the Anthropological Quarterly, and board member of the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).
Born in San Francisco, California, she has studied in Taiwan and France. She returned to California to attend graduate school and earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University. With undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, drama and literature, she has conducted research on the development of traditional xiqu theatres in Taiwan and China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Beijing, as well as several rural provinces).
|Ph.D. in Chinese Literature, Stanford University|
Dissertation: Ritual into Play: The Aesthetic Transformations of Qing Court Theatre [Abstract]
2003 Chinese Language Pedagogy Training, Summer Program East Asian Concentration, Ohio State University
2002-2003 Exchange Scholar, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
2000 Certificate, Centre internationale d’etudes de langues, Strasbourg, France
1999 Master of Arts in Drama and Theatre, National Taiwan University
1994 Bachelor of Science in Psychology, National Taiwan University