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WCSU to host MIT Quanta Chair of Chinese Culture for free lecture

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of English and the Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences will present the Fall 2017 Faculty Lecture by Dr. Claire Conceison, “Arthur Miller and ‘Death of a Salesman’ in Beijing,” at 9:25 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Room 102 of Warner Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The talk will be free and the public is invited.

Arthur Miller traveled to Beijing in 1983, when China had just established normal relations with the U.S., to direct his classic American play, “Death of a Salesman.” Three months of rehearsal with a cast of Chinese actors led to the premiere at Beijing People’s Art Theater, making history as the first modern Western play directed by an American at the theater.

Conceison is the Quanta Chair of Chinese Culture/Professor of Theater Arts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and visiting professor in Theater, Dance & Media Dramatic Arts at Harvard University. She was selected as an Oriental Scholar Distinguished Professor at Shanghai Theatre Academy by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Conceison also wrote the introduction to the new edition of Arthur Miller’s 1984 book, “‘Death of a Salesman’ in Beijing.” 

WCSU Professor of English Dr. Shouhua Qi met and worked with Conceison while writing, “Adapting Western Classics for the Chinese Stage.” Qi describes the work as “a study of a century-worth of translingual and transcultural adaptation endeavors, and a history of the uneasy fusion of East and West complicated by tensions between divergent sociopolitical forces and cultural proclivities.” His text devotes a chapter to the 1983 production of Miller’s “Death of Salesman” in Beijing and its impact on the revival of modern Chinese drama.


Qi said, “I think our community will find this lecture from an internationally renowned scholar most illuminating. Our students will find Dr. Conceison’s transcultural and intellectual journey — beginning many years ago as a young college student at Wesleyan University learning to read, speak and write in Chinese, one of the most challenging languages to learn — most inspiring. I invite and encourage faculty, staff and students of all disciplines and the public to attend this compelling lecture.”

The WCSU Department of English has planned another lecture as part of a series on the historical, literary and cultural resonances of the Black Arts Movement via Afrofuturism, The Black Panther and The Black Panthers for Spring 2018.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486 or Qi at




Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.