Elijah Braden Ash

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10671

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Ash, Elijah (Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of) "Subjectivity and Viscerality in Local Chinese Theater"

In preliminary fieldwork, I have found that bangzi qiang, dialect-based varieties of traditional theater that are widespread in North China, have remained highly popular in some regions. Audiences and arts administrators alike continue to rally around bangzi qiang, pushing its practitioners to embrace digital platforms. This is puzzling because bangzi qiang has at times been taken as boring or even antithetical to mainstream values. What are the ideological, aesthetic, gendered, and affective reasons that bangzi qiang is taken up within and outside of the state? I will explore this question by examining the everyday listening practices and social media usage of bangzi qiang audiences and the coalescence of various institutions and social groups around bangzi qiang. By exploring bangzi qiang as diffuse across media platforms, this project will improve anthropological ability to sustain international cooperation and to understand the interaction of ideological and sensorial orientations.