Hi there! I am Chee-Hann. I am currently an assistant professor faculty fellow (postdoc) in theatre studies at NYU, and editor of Taiwan Insight, an online academic magazine curated by the University of Nottingham's Taiwan Studies Programme. I got my Ph.D. in drama and theatre at UC Irvine. I also make socially-engaged art. I am proudly from Taiwan!
My research focuses on puppetry and its ability to reenact/retell memories, experiences and trauma that have been suppressed, and further serve as a force for transitional justice. My dissertation and current book project, Puppetry: A Performative Reenactment of Taiwan, considers puppetry as a means of mediated communication through which I look at Taiwan’s cultural and sociopolitical environment, colonial history, as well as its path to democracy.
I am also very interested in the transnational ecology of video games and VR through the lens of theatre and performance.
Some of the performance projects I was involved in focused on Asian and Asian American experiences, drawing attention to the issues of (im)migration and the stigmatization of mental health within the community.
I also love teaching! I am currently teaching "Performing the Nonhumans" and "Transpacific Asian Theatre." I also taught "Development of Drama" (Theatre Histories) at UCI for four years.
I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the North American Taiwan Studies Association (2022-23) and have been an active member of the Association for Asian Performance, American Society for Theatre Research, and more.
RESEARCH & TEACHING
I am currently teaching "Performing the Nonhumans" and "Transpacific Asian Theatre" at NYU.
I was an instructor/teaching associate of "Development of Drama" (Theatre Histories) at UCI.
Check out my sample syllabus!
My experience of teaching assistantship includes "Performance Now," "Intro to Theatre," and "Culture and Performance" at UCI.
I have worked as a research assistant for several projects, such as "Investigations on Southeast Asian Puppetry," "How to Teach about Taiwan: Findings from the Taiwan Syllabus Project," "Indian and South African Postcolonial Performance" and "The History of Dress and Décor."
I am passionate about dramaturgy. I have worked as a dramaturg for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (2017), Model Minority Syndrome (2018), The Refugee Hotel (2019), and most recently, a devised piece To Keep Our Roots Alive (2021).
Though I am extremely stage shy, I have performed in Babel en Bhablóin (2016), a devised piece about body, language, cultural code and violence by Josh Clendenin, and presented a puppet piece I made as a part of the I Dream Therefore I Am: Asian Immigration as Creative Muse (2019). I also performed with Taiwan Puppet Troupe for the Lantern Festival in Costa Mesa, CA (2018).
I worked as a project specialist for the 2016 Asia Pacific Traditional Arts Festival (hosted by National Center for Traditional Arts, Ministry of Culture, Taiwan; organized by Puppet & Its Double Theater) , and served as the executive producer of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). I also have experience as an English-Chinese interpreter for theatre workshops, and a translator for theatre-related pieces.
This is from the show The Bear (Anton Chekhov)
I directed at the 2015 Taipei Fringe Festival.
Venue: Drip Cafe, Taipei. Photos by Yi-Chen Han.
This is from The Blue Room (2014) by David Hare.
Venue: NTU Theatre. Photo by Sheng-jung Huang.
Performance with Taiwan Puppet Troupe in 2018.
Venue: Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Julianne and George Argyros Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. Photo by Spencer Grant.
2017 - 2022
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE
(A joint program with UC San Diego)
Ph.D., Drama & Theatre
Dissertation: Puppetry: A Performative Reenactment of Taiwan. Advisor: Dr. Daphne Lei
Irvine, CA, U.S.A.
2014 - 2016
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA
M.A., Drama & Theatre
Thesis: From the Rest to the West: Staging Differences and Redefining Intercultural Performances.
Advisor: Dr. Stefano Muneroni
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
2010 - 2014
NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY
B.A., Foreign Languages and Literatures
RESEARCH & PAPERS
My dissertation, "Puppetry: A Performative Reenactment of Taiwan," considers puppetry as a means of mediated communication that narrates Taiwan’s cultural and sociopolitical development, early Chinese migration, Han Chinese settler colonial, Japanese colonial, and postcolonial martial law experiences from the eighteenth century to the present.
Some of the papers I have presented at conferences include "The Man Who Couldn't Leave-An Immersive Storytelling of An Age Frozen in Time," "A Virtual Encounter with the Lost Past: The Undelivered Letters," "Puppetry and the Performative Reenactment of Taiwan: Collective Activism in Mediated Space," "A Response to Trauma through Puppetry and Performative Reenactment," "(Re)making of Taiwanese Subjectivity through Puppetry," "Finding A Way Back Home (if there is any): Puppet and Its Double Theater’s Homecoming," "Rewriting the Topography and Historiography of Taiwan through Dance: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s Formosa" and more.
Here is a piece I wrote for Puppetry International 50, titled "Stewing An Alternative Epic—The Soup of Reincarnation" (UNIMA-USA, 2021).
I have also contributed to a chapter in Women and Puppetry
Critical and Historical Investigations (Routledge, 2019), and popular writings online.
As the former program director of North American Taiwan Studies Association 2020-21, I co-wrote "‘Keywording Taiwan’: Report of the 26th North American Taiwan Studies Association Annual Conference, Online, 20–21 May 2021" with Dr. JhuCin Rita Jhang, which was published in International Journal of Taiwan Studies (August 2022).