Miss Jia Bo comes from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and she is now a first-year Ph.D. student. Having graduated with a major in History from Renmin University of China, she then came to the US to pursue a Master's degree in Gender Studies. Miss Jia's research concentration is on Chinese social and cultural history in the 20th century and Chinese women's history. She is also very interested in gender studies. Miss Jia is now working on her thesis that focuses on the development of Chinese modern drama in Shanghai in the first half of the 20th century.
Miss Jia's research object is Chinese modern opera, which originated in the first half of the 20th century and was deeply influenced by Western opera. Chinese modern opera is different from Chinese traditional opera, which is habitually referred to as "Chinese opera" in the West. Rather, it is a new form of artistic expression. For a long time, there have been many controversies over the definition of "Chinese opera" in academia, and universal agreement has not been achieved yet. Her thesis is designed neither to define what “Chinese opera” is nor to conduct research on the theatricality and musicality of opera. Rather, its aim is to no longer be restricted by the stage of opera and to step away from the long-standing exploration of the concept of “Chinese opera”, as well as the concern with composers, actors, and works in Chinese opera history in the traditional sense, especially for "red opera". She attempts to explore a broader field, focusing on the development of Chinese modern opera, especially the development history of the cradle of modern opera – Shanghai. The work is based on three themes: the interaction between modern opera and nation-state construction, opera and public space, and the "return" of gender roles in opera. Miss Jia will focus on investigating the development of modern opera between 1920 and 1949 to analyze how countries, parties, and different urban groups participate in opera practice in accordance with their respective purposes in public places and how they attempt to influence and even control the development of society and culture.