Chinese Shakespeares maps new territory for the most promising project in comparative literature today. ... Remarkable not only for its sophistication but also for its scholarly depth, Chinese Shakespeares is a landmark in the renewal of comparative literature as a discipline. [press release]

Chinese Shakespeares

Joe A. Callaway Prize for the Best Book in Drama and Theatre--Honorable Mention
International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS) Colleagues' Choice Award [PDF]
                Sample pages from prologue and chapter 1 (PDF file, 3.9 MB)
                Online video archives: Global Shakespeares and Shakespeare Performance in Asia

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Reviews Categorized by Fields of Study

Reviews - general and comparative literature

Chinese Shakespeares combines historical research with theoretical insights into what happens when culture icons travel far and imbed themselves into a new context. Huang has done a masterly job in pulling together disparate strands, many of which are fleeting in time (performances) and thus difficult to access.

  -- Modern Philology [full text]

[The book] offers a model for theorizing cross-cultural entanglements that goes beyond its specific subject matter. Highly recommended.

  -- Choice [full text]

The most valuable contribution of this book lies in the very questions [Huang] asks. The book unearths previously overlooked materials and provides further insight into the subject by foregrounding the relations between Shakespeare and China.
  --MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly

This theoretically astute book successfully locates the logic of representation within collective cultural memory, politics, history, and individual artistic creativity.  
  -- Comparative Literature Studies [full text PDF]

While presenting a rich, detailed description of Chinese interpretations of Shakespeare, [the book] also provides a language for a revised approach to the interpretation of cross-cultural works.
  -- Comparatist [full text PDF]
The value of Huang's book is twofold: it offers and expands the literary theory necessaryto approach the intersection(s) of China and Shakespeare, and it provides accountsof the past 200 years of such intersections.
  -- Books and Culture [full text PDF] [full text online]

Reviews - Shakespeare and early modern studies

Among the most innovative monographs this year is Chinese Shakespeares. Particularly exciting is Huang's emphasis on the historical and cultural specificity of the heavily trafficked two-way [cultural] exchange. His examples are temporally, geographically, and ideologically diverse. By looking to the local, Huang is able to question the terms of current cross-cultural discourse—to ask whether hybridity is necessarily progressive, to make an important distinction between universalizing and globalizing impulses, to insist on the plurality and individuality of any given audience.

  -- SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 [full text PDF]

A gripping work [on] intriguing cultural flows.
   -- Shakespeare Quarterly

What is impressive throughout the volume is Huang's extensive scholarship that bridges Anglophone and Sinophone critical communities and is coupled with an equally impressive historical and generic range. This is a book ... I will use in my teaching.
  -- Shakespeare Survey [PDF]

A bold, remarkable book that provok[es] new thinking about the function of literature and culture in relation to economic and political realities.
  -- Shakespeare Studies

Huang’s work stands out as a model for dynamic exchange between global Shakespeares and national literatures, demonstrating thorough grounding in critical theory without loss to accessibility or to sensitive close readings that are times thrilling and evocative.

--Cahiers Élisabéthains. A Biannual Journal of English Renaissance Studies [PDF]

For those who are interested in the connections between Shakespeare and Asia, Chinese Shakespeares is the book. [It] provides an essential vocabulary and a model examination of one country's engagement with Shakespeare. Huang's book is magnificent for showing how both China and Shakespeare can be changed into something rich and strange as they interact.
  -- Bardfilm: The Shakespeare and Film Microblog

We have seen [many] books on Shakespeare ... but nothing quite as striking as Chinese Shakespeares. Insightful and convincing. 
  --Bibliotheque de Humanisme et Renaissance
Huang has successfully advanced a theory of cultural exchange [and method of] locality criticism. Chinese Shakespeares, which shows great insight into intercultural performance and reciprocal exchanges taking place between two cultures, is indispensable to anyone interested intheatrical, filmic and textual representations of Shakespeare in Asia.
  --Shakespeare Studies (Shakespeare Society of Japan) [PDF]

Reviews - Asian and Chinese studies

An ambitious work of culural history that chooses its battles and case studies judiciously. The most fascinating aspect of Chinese Shakespeares is the rich genealogy that emerges from Huang's analyses of numerous works that are seldom discussed in culural histories of modern China.

  -- China Review International [full text PDF]

The best of a new generation of scholarship based on rigorous archival research that moves the field in significant new directions.
  -- The China Quarterly [full text PDF]

Chinese Shakespeares is an original and engaging study of ... both Chinese cultural engagement with the West and of cross-cultural communication in theatre and film. Huang's study will be the standard text in the field for years to come. We are pleased to award the Colleagues' Choice Award for a study which draws on a wide range of sources, and is a significant contribution to literary studies, cultural history, and studies of globalisation.
   --International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS) book prize

A splendid book, ... well written and illustrated. Highly infused with theory, it adds to our understanding of the ways in which great cultures interpenetrate and enrich each other. It is a truly path-breaking book. I recommend it strongly not only to all those interested in Chinese culture but those interested in theatre and drama and the many ways in which the performing arts inform societies and cultures.
  -- MCLC: Modern Chinese Literature and Culture [full text]

This richly archival, refreshingly comparative, and stimulatingly theoretical book lives up to its aspiration to "locate [a given work] of representation within the collective cultural memory, politics, and the personal dimension of history." It shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that Chinese Shakespeares have been unjustly neglected by the historicist Shakespeare scholarship focused on Elizabethan England, by postcolonial studies exclusively devoted to Shakespeare in Anglophone ex-colonies, and by Asian Studies interested primarily in the fate of "Chinese" rather than "foreign" texts.
  -- CLEAR: Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews [full text]

This meticulous researched and thoughtfully constructed study ... completely transformed my viewpoint. Huang has turned this skeptic into a believer, and I invite any scholar who is interested--or not interested--in this topic to read Huang's thought-provoking volume.
  -- Journal of Asian Studies [full text]
Very few scholars in comparative literature can make a real difference beyond their primary field. Huang offers a welcome and much-needed model. Highly recommended for its extensive archival work and innovative research.
  -- Chinese Literature Today [full text]

Reviews - performance studies

The judges praised the conceptual ambition and methodological innovations of this expansive study.  

  -- Joe A. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama or Theatre Honorable Mention (NYU English Department)

An exceptional work of theatre scholarship.
  -- Theatre Journal [full text PDF]

Chinese Shakespeares magnificently demonstrates how much traction you can get with a single, talented scholar tackling a massive archive, and writing one of the most lucid and coherent monographs I have read in several years.
  -- Theatre Survey [full text PDF]

Huang demonstrates an amazing command of the Shakespeare discourse (both performative thistory and theoretical genealogy) in additio to general critical theory and the historical, cultural, and political context of his subject matter. His new framework of locality criticism bring[s] much-needed rethinking and significant new insight to the field.
  -- Asian Theatre Journal
Huang’s monograph exemplarily demonstrates the dynamics and theoretical alertnessof a flourishing research field: Shakespeare in Asia, its history, theory and practice. The case studies presentevocative readings of cultural events and texts (translations, performances, films) thatexemplify the mutually defining interactions of Shakespeare and China.
  -- Theatre Research International [full text PDF]

Also reviewed in Shakespearean International Yearbook, English in Australia, Gramma, and scholarly journals and various media outlets in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Interviews and Videos

Global Shakespeares, open-access digital video archive co-founded by Alexa (Alex) Huang and Peter Donaldson

Shakespeare Performance in Asia, open-access digital video archive co-founded by Alexa (Alex) Huang and Peter Donaldson


Excerpts from Prof. Alex Huang's guest appearance on BBC 2's "Review Show" (Television) on 19 August 2011 which covered the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival

Excerpts from Alex Huang's guest appearance on BBC World Service's "Shakespeare Special" on April 21, 2012

Excerpts from Alex Huang's guest appearance on BBC The Strand on April 17, 2012

Excerpts from Prof. Alex Huang's guest appearance on BBC Radio's "Classics Unwrapped" presented by Jamie MacDougall, 14 August 2011

"The Global Influence of Shakespeare." GW Today, November 28, 2011 [PDF]

Continental Shifts: All the World's a Stage, the Hub on Castlehill, Edinburgh, 15 August 2011 [online]
Continental Shifts was a series of talks and debates on the themes and ideas of Festival 2011. The series was presented in association with the British Council, The Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Confucius Institute for Scotland.

"Bringing Shakespeare to Life": story about Prof. Huang's work in GW Hatchet, 25 August, 2011. Read online or download the PDF version.


"All the World's a Stage: Alex Huang at GW": story about new digital tools Prof. Huang is using in class, 9 September, 2011.

Story about Prof. Huang's work on cultural globalization, 30 August, 2011.

Story about Prof. Huang's new book, 25 May, 2011


Feature story and interview, Research||Penn State, Fall 2010 issue (online and in print)
        Read online (with videos)

Videos of highlights of stage and film versions of Shakespeare in China, Tibet, Hong Kong, Singapore and London, with commentary

  WPSU-TV: "Reinventing Shakespeare: Lobby Talks with Actors from the London Stage, Penn State, Nov. 15 and 18, 2007. <Video Online>
  WPSU-TV interview, Pennsylvania Inside Out, Penn State, October 29, 2007. <Video Online>
Bilingual King Lear in London: Highlights

Interviews and stories in the World Journal (世界日報)
        December 29, 2010 (PDF and online versions)
        January 8, 2011 (online version)
        March 26, 2011 (PDF and online versions)
        北美華人風雲誌 2011

Founded in 1976, the World Journal is the largest Chinese-language daily serving overseas Chinese in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, other European countries, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia. It is published in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, San diego, Florida, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Award Ceremony, Modern Language Association (MLA), Los Angeles, January 7, 2011