Lecture in San Jose on Taiwanese Music in the 1930s

Date: March 15, 2011
Time: 7:00 -9:00 pm
Location: Martin Luther King Jr. Library
Address: 150 East San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95112
Admission: Free

Sponsors: San Jose-Tainan Sister City Association, San Jose State University, Chuan-Lyu Foundation

Parking: Convenient parking across the street from the library at the Fourth Street Garage (E. San Fernando Street and 4th Street); flat rate $3 after 6 pm.
Contact: Pam Tsai at [email protected]

The lecture will be based on a recent documentary “Viva Tonal – The Dance Age,” dedicated to Taiwanese music in the 1930s. The film uses private lives of several singers, composers, and collectors to offer a nuanced and sensible interpretive account of Taiwanese music and cultural history. “Viva Tonal-The Dance Age” is an important contribution to the understanding of colonialism and modernism in East Asia. Emergence of new acoustics in recording industry and the phonographic sound reproduction technology will be used to examine music as a system of selection and signification, of signs and social meanings that are complicated by personal and transnational destinies as well as local and global cultural coding. The documentary can be viewed as an archival project to suggest that Taiwan has been a hub of transculture across the Pacific. The discussion will touch upon multiple sources of music and modernity in early twentieth century Taiwan linking it to the rest of the world. Film clips will be shown to enhance the presentation and to illustrate speaker’s viewpoints.

About the Speaker

Professor Ping-hui Liao (廖炳惠教授) was born in Taiwan in 1954 and received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from University of San Diego (UCSD) in 1987. He was a visiting scholar or professor at Princeton University, Harvard University and Columbia University. Professor Liao won numerous awards such as the May Fourth Prize and the Wu Yung-fu Prize. He has served as Director General of Humanities and Social Sciences Department of the National Science Council, President of the Comparative Literature Association in Taiwan. He served as a committee member and editorial or advisory board member for many journals and scholarly associations in Taiwan as well as abroad. Professor Liao was a Distinguished Professor of Literary and Critical Studies at the National Tsinghua University in Taiwan. He is internationally renowned in Taiwan Studies.

In 2009, Professor Liao returned to UCSD serving as the Chuan-Lyu Endowed Chair Professor. He ambitious plans include an extensive collaboration with faculty members across disciplines throughout the UC system as well as develop new undergraduate and graduate courses in Taiwan literature, cinema, and modernity in East Asia.

Related article from Taipei Times regarding 1930’s hits:
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/04/20/2003441532

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