- Editor's Note
A recent conference at my campus looked at interdisciplinarity and wondered whether we are in a post-disciplinary phase as the academy evolves. As I listened, I had the feeling that the "disciplinary silos" speakers referenced—the departments that dominate the Western university—were generated for arts studies that gave words to the drama and literature people, movement to the dancers, visuals to artists, and music to the concert hall presenters. I realized a number of my peers at the conference thought they were doing something innovative by reaching from music or visual arts to theatre. Anyone who works in Asian theatres knows that while disciplinary skill sets can be applied to our subjects, over time we must master more tools. We become interdisciplinary because our subject is. These disciplines that make up our departments take the form they do only because they are Eurocentric constructs. I thank the authors of this issue for sharing their research, which shows they are artists without such borders.
The Philippines, Southeast Asia, India, Japan, and China are all represented. Seasoned scholars' work is included as well as that of young researchers who presented on the Emerging Scholars' Panel at the Association for Asian Performance meeting of 2006. Authors come from theatre, ethnomusicology, religious studies, and literature, and many show expertise in social science research. The writers trace historical transformations that have taken place in their forms. Leo Shingchi Yip discusses the representation of China in Japanese nō. Bruce Sullivan shows us that what colonial scholars claimed to be the "rules" of Sanskrit drama do not apply to the actual texts. The modes in which Western puppeteers have learned from Indonesia is documented in Matthew Cohen's article on wayang as a global form. Megan Evans shows xiqu adopting modern directors. William Peterson notes the changes that are taking place in Easter celebrations in the Philippines. Tong Song Lee shows how Confucian values are on the rise in contemporary opera clubs in Singapore. Jon Brokering in his article on Ninagawa's Hamlet shares an in-depth look at an important production [End Page iii] by this major director. Judith Halebsky speaks of the intercultural work of June Watanabe in San Francisco. Though the issues are eclectic, the mix of genres, periods, and global flows shows how "inter-" our "discipline" is.