Fellow in the Context of the DRS Fellowship Program Postdoc International (POINT) at the Dahlem Humanities Center
November 2015 – January 2018
China Enters the Stage
Agota Revesz’s research project is a book on China entering the world stage as a global cultural power. After a century of turmoil bringing it to the verge of collapse, the former cultural centre of East Asia is now back as an empire – at least in the socioeconomic sense. Establishing itself as a global cultural empire would be the next step to take, and China is demonstrating considerable assertiveness to achieve this goal. In order to explore the inner dynamic and domestic context of China’s public diplomacy, Agota is going to analyse the area of traditional Chinese theatre: its sociology, aesthetic crisis, domestic and international reception and the role it has been assigned by soft power diplomacy. By highlighting the complex interaction between cultural heritage, politics and diplomacy, she hopes to reveal underlying inconsistencies, structural and strategic problems and also their impacts on art. This interdisciplinary topic, which has not received scholarly attention before, is intended to engage both China watchers and performing arts experts.
After years of practical theatre work, Agota wrote her DLA (Doctor of Liberal Arts) dissertation at the University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest, comparing the work of the actor in Western and traditional Chinese theatres. In 2009 she became cultural attaché for Hungary in Shanghai, and spent six years in active diplomatic service. She considers herself a mediator between the two cultures, and hopes that some of her research results might provide relevant context for ongoing and future EU-China cultural communication.