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Module Reading List

Chinese Oral and Performance Traditions, 2019/20
Timothy Thurston
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Bamo Qubumo. 2001. Traditional Nuosu Origin Narratives: A Case Study of Ritualized Epos in Bimo Incantation Scriptures. Oral Tradition. 16(2): 453-479. Available from:

Bender, Mark. 1990. Felling the Ancient Sweetgum: Antiphonal Folk Epics of the Miao of Southeast Guizhou. Chinoperl Papers. 15: 27-44.

Bender, Mark. 1999. “Shifting and Performance in Suzhou Chantefable.” In The eternal storyteller : oral literature in modern China ISBN: 0700709827, edited by Vibeke Børdahl, 181–96. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press.

Bender, Mark. 2001. “A Description of Jiangjing (Telling Scriptures) Services in Jingjiang, China. Asian Folklore Studies. 60: 101-133. Available from:

Bender, Mark. 1990. “Felling the Ancient Sweetgum”: Antiphonal Folk Epics of the Miao of Southeast Guizhou. CHINOPERL Papers. 15: 27-44.

Bender, Mark. 2005. “Assistant” Tanci Storytellers: Personal Narratives and Insights. CHIME 16-17: 88-102. Available from:

Bender, Mark. 2007. Ashima and Gamo Anyo: Aspects of Two “Yi” Narrative Poems. CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature ISSN: 0193-7774 Papers . 27: 209-242.

Bender, Mark. 2008. “Tribes of Snow”: Animals and Plants in the Nuosu Book of Origins. Asian Ethnology. 67(1):5-42. Available from:

*Bender, Mark. 2009. Dying Hunters, Poison Plants, and Mute Slaves:  Nature and Tradition in Contemporary Nuosu Yi Poetry. Asian Highlands Perspectives,1(2009):117-158. Available from:

*Bender, Mark. 1998. Suzhou Tanci Storytelling in China: Contexts of Performance. Oral Tradition. 13(2): 330-376. Available from:

*Bender,  Mark. 1996. Keys to Performance in Kunming Storytelling. CHINOPERL Papers. 18: 21-37.

*Bender, Mark. 2014. King of Yalu in Mashan, Guizhou: An “Epic” in Contemporary Contexts. CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature ISSN: 0193-7774:Journal of Chinese Oral and Performance Literature. 31(1): 82-93. 

Bender, Mark. Plum and bamboo : China's Suzhou chantefable tradition ISBN: 025202821X (cloth : alk. paper) : £33.00. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. 

Bkra shis bzang po, with Gerald Roche, CK Stuart, Timothy Thurston, and Elena McKinlay, eds. (2012). “May All Good Things Gather Here: Life, Religion, and Marriage in a Mi nyag Tibetan Village.” Asian Highlands Perspectives. 14:1-369. Available from:

Blo brtan rdo rje and Charles Kevin Stuart. 2008. Life and marriage in Skya rgya : a Tibetan village ISBN: 9780980050844 (pbk.); 0980050847 (pbk.). New York: YBK Books.

Blo brtan rdo rje, Charles Kevin Stuart, and Gerald Roche. 2009. “Amdo Tibetan Tongue Twisters.” Asian Highlands Perspectives. Vol. 1: 7-52.

Blo bzang tshe ring, Don ‘grub sgrol ma, Gerald Roche, and Charles Kevin Stuart. 2012. “Change, Reputation, and Hair: A Female Rite of Passage in Mtha’ ba Village.”Asian Highlands Perspectives. Vol. 21: 335-364. Available from:

Blumenfield, Tami and Helaine Silverman, eds. 2013. Cultural heritage politics in China [electronic resource] ISBN: 9781461468745 (e-book); 9781461468738 (hbk.). New York: Springer Science+Business Media.

Børdahl, Vibeke. 1997. Professional Storytelling in Modern China: A Case Study of theYangzhou Pinghua Tradition. Asian Folklore Studies. 36:7-32. Available from:

Børdahl, Vibeke. 2007. The Man-Hunting Tiger: From “Wu Song Fights the Tiger” in Chinese Traditions. Asian Folklore Studies. 66(1-2): 141-163. Available from:

*Børdahl, Vibeke. 2003. The Storyteller’s Manner in Chinese Storytelling. Asian Folklore Studies. 62:1-48. Available from:

Børdahl, Vibeke and Margaret B. Wan, eds. 2010. The interplay of the oral and the written in Chinese popular literature ISBN: 9788776940553 (pbk.) : £17.99; 9788776940546 (hbk.) : £45.00; 8776940543 (hbk.) : £45.00; 8776940551 (pbk.) : £17.99. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.

‘Brug mo skyid with Charles Kevin Stuart, Alexandru Anton-Luca, and Steve Frediani. “Stag rig Tibetan Village: Hair Changing and Marriage.” Asian Highlands Perspectives. Vol. 6: 151-217. Available from:

Chao, Gejin. 1997. Mongolian Oral Epic Poetry: An Overview. Oral Tradition. 12(2): 322-336. Available from:

———. 2001. The Oirat epic Cycle of Jangar. Oral Tradition. 16(2):402-435. Available from:

———. 2000. Kou chuan shi shi shi xue : Ranpile "Jiangge'er" cheng shi ju fa yan jiu = Oral poetics : formulaic diction of Arimpil's Jangar singing ISBN: 7219042655; 9787219042656: Jiangge’er chengshi jufa yanjiu 口传史诗学:冉皮勒《江格尔》程式句法研究[Oral Epic Study: Research on Formulaic diction in Arimpil’s “Jangar”].Nanning: Guangxi renmin chuban she.

Deng Minwen. 2001. Dong Oral Poetry: Kuant Cix. Oral Tradition. 16(2):436-452. Available from:

Dkon mchog dge legs, Dpal ldan bkra shis, and Kevin Stuart. 1999. “Tibetan Tricksters.” Asian Folklore Studies 58 (1): 5–30. Available from:

Dpal-ldan-bkra-shis, and Kevin Stuart. 1998. “Perilous Novelties; A-Mdo Tibetan Klu-Rol Festival in Gling-Rgyal Village.” Anthropos 93: 31–53.

Dpal mo skyid. 2013. “The ‘Descent of Blessings’: Ecstasy and Revival Among the Tibetan Bon Communities of Rebgong.” Asian Highlands Perspectives 28: 25–85. Available from:

*Duara, Prasenjit. 1998. Superscribing Symbols:Myth of Guandi, Chinese God of War. The journal of Asian studies. ISSN: 0021-9118. 47(4): 778-795.

Eminov, Sandra. 1975. “Folklore and Nationalism in Modern China.” Journal of the Folklore Institute. ISSN: 0015-5934 12(2): 257–77.

*Feng, Lide, and Kevin Stuart. 1994. “‘Sex and the Beauty of Death’: Hua’er (Northwest China Folksongs).” Anthropos. 89: 212–22.

Fitzherbert, Solomon George Ignatius. 2007. “The Birth of Gesar: Narrative Diversity and Social Resonance in the Tibetan Epic.” DPhil Thesis, Oxford: Oxford University.

*Fitzherbert, Solomon George. 2010. A Modern Version of the The Birth of Gesar. In Tibetan studies : an anthology (PIATS 2006 Tibetan studies : proceedings of the eleventh seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Königswinter 2006) ISBN: 9783038091103, edited by Saadet Arslan and Peter Schwieger, pp. 215-254. International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies GmbH.

Gao, Jia, and Peter C. Pugsley. 2008. “Utilizing Satire in Post-Deng Chinese Politics: Zhao Benshan Xiaopin vs. the Falun Gong.” China information. ISSN: 0920-203X XXII (3): 451–76.

G.yu lha. 2012. “Warming Your Hands With Moonlight: Lavrung Tibetan Oral Traditions and Culture.” Asian Highlands Perspectives 13. Available from:

Holm, David. 2003. The Death of Tiaoxi (the ‘Leaping Play’) Ritual Theatre in the Northwest of China. Modern Asian studies. ISSN: 0026-749x.37(4): 863-885.

Hrdlickova, Vena. 1965. The Professional Training of Chinese Storytellers and the Storyellers’ Guilds. Archiv Orientalini. 33: 225-249.

Jiangbianjiacuo降边嘉措. 1994. "Gesa'er" yu Zang zu wen hua ISBN: 7810153951; 9787810153959 格萨尔与藏族文化[Gesar and Tibetan Culture]. Hohhot: Neimenggu daxue chuban she.

———. 1999. Gesaer lun ISBN: 7810740113; 9787810740111 格萨尔论[On Gesaer]. Hohhot: Neimenggu daxue chuban she.

Jiangbianjiacuo降边嘉措, and Wei 吴伟Wu. 1997. Gesa'er wang quan zhuan ISBN: 7506312557 (set); 9787506312554 (set) 格萨尔王传[The Story of King Gesar]. Beijing: Zuojia chuban she.

Kalsang Norbu (Skal bzang nor bu), Zhu Yongzhong 朱永忠, and Kevin Stuart. 1999. “A Ritual Winter Exorcism in Gnyan Thog Village, Qinghai.” Asian Folklore Studies ISSN: 0385-2342. 58: 189–203.

King, Matthew W. 2016. Knowing King Gesar: Between Buddhist Monastery and Socialist Academy Or the practices of Secularism in Inner Asia. Himalaya: the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. 36(1): Article 10. Available from:

Lee, Haiyan. 2005. “Tears That Crumbled the Great Wall: The Archaeology of Feeling in the May Fourth Folklore Movement.” The journal of Asian studies. ISSN: 0021-9118 64 (1): 35–65

Li, Lianrong. 2001. “History and the Tibetan Epic Gesar.” Oral Tradition 16 (1): 317–42. Available from:

Light, Nathan. 2008. Intimate heritage : creating Uyghur Muqam song in Xinjiang ISBN: 9783825811204 (pbk.); 3825811204 (pbk.). Munster: Lit Verlag.

Limusishiden. 2011. “Muulsan Mongghul.” Asian Highlands Perspectives 10: 339–40. Available from:

Limusishiden, and Jugui. 2010. “Ghalmadi Sgil Da Alog Xosuu: Ghuaisangni Durina Rogshdigu Mongghulni Adal [Passions and Colored Sleeves: Mongghul Lives in Eastern Tibet].” Edited by CK Stuart, Gerald Roche, and Ramona Johnson. Asian Highlands Perspectives 7: 1–322. Available from:

Limusishiden, and Charles Kevin Stuart. 2010. “Mongghulni Jilaguni Da Adal (Mongghul Memories and Lives).” Asian Highlands Perspectives 8. Available from:

Limusishiden, and Kevin Stuart. 1995. “Larinbuda and Jiminsu: A Monguor Tragedy.” Asian theatre journal. ISSN: 0742-5457 12 (2): 221–63.

Link, Perry. 1984. “The Genie and the Lamp: Revolutionary Xiangsheng.” In Popular Chinese literature and performing arts in the People's Republic of China, 1949-1979 ISBN: 0520048520; 9780520048522, 83–111. Berkeley: University of California Press.

*Link, Perry.. 2007. The Crocodile Bird: Xiangsheng in the Ealry 1950s. In Jeremy Brown and Paul Pickowicz, eds. Dilemmas of Victory: The Early Years of the People’s Republic of China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 207-231.

Liu, Fei-wen. 2010. “Narrative, Genre, and Contextuality: The Nüshu-Transcribed Liang-Zhu Ballad in Rural South China.” Asian Ethnology ISSN: 1882-6865 69 (2): 241–64.

Liu, Liqian 刘立千. 2000. Gesa'er wang zhuan. Tian jie pian ISBN: 7105038012; 9787105038015 格萨尔王传[The Story of King Gesar]. Beijing: Minzu chuban she.

*Liu, Lydia H. 2012. “Translingual Folklore and Folklorics in China.” In A companion to folklore ISBN: 9781118863145; 9781405194990 (hardback), edited by Regina Bendix and Galit Hasan-Rokem, pp. 201-221. Malden, MA: Blackwell.  

Ma Jianxiong. 2009. Local Knowledge Constructed by the State: Reinterpreting Myths and Imagining the Migration History of the Lahu in Yunnan, Southwest China. Asian Ethnology ISSN: 1882-6865. 68(1): 111-129.

Mackerras, Colin. 1984. “Folksongs and Dances of China’s Minority Nationalities: Policy, Tradition, and Professionalization.” Modern China. ISSN: 0097-7004 10 (2): 187–226.

———. 2008. “Tradition, Change, and Continuity in Chinese Theatre in the Last Hundred Years: In Commemoration of the Spoken Drama Centenary.” Asian theatre journal. ISSN: 0742-5457 25 (1): 1–23.

Maags, Christina and Marina Svensson. 2018. Chinese Cultural Heritage in the making: Experiences, Negotiations and Contestations. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Ma, Jianzhong, and Kevin Stuart. 1996. “‘Stone Camels and Clear Springs’: The Salar’s Samarkand Origins.” Asian Folklore Studies 55: 287–98. Available from:

McLaren, A.E. 1985. Chantefables and the Textual Evolution of the San-Kuo-Chih Yen-I. T'oung pao. ISSN: 0082-5433; 1568-5322. 72: 159-227.

*McLaren, Anne and Chen Qinjian. 2000. The Oral and Ritual Culture of Chinese Women: Bridal Lamentations of Nanhui. Asian Ethnology. 59: 205-238. Available from:

Mortensen, Eric. 1999. Pasum Tso: The Tributaries of Tibet’s Religious Folklore. Harvard Asia Quarterly. 3(2): 36-42.

Moser, David. 1990. “Reflexivity in the Humor of Xiangsheng.” CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature ISSN: 0193-7774 Papers 15: 45–68.

Mu, Aili. 2004. “Two of Zhao Benshan’s Comic Skits: Their Critical Implications in Contemporary China.” Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies ISSN: 1729-6897; 1729-8792 30 (2): 3–34.

Mueggler, Erik. 2002. Dancing Fools: Politics of Culture and Place ina “Traditional Nationality Festival.” Modern China. ISSN: 0097-7004. 28(1): 3-38.

Oakes, Tim. 2012. “Heritage as Improvement: Cultural Display and Contested Governance in Rural Chian.” Modern China. ISSN: 0097-7004 39 (4): 380–407. doi:10.1177/0097700412467011.

Orofino, Giacomella. 2011. "The Long Voyage of a Trickster Story from Ancient Greece to Tibet." AION: annali dell'Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli33: 101–116.

Phuntshog Tashi, and Patricia Schiaffini. 2006. “Realism, Humor, and Social Commitment: An Interview.” Manoa ISSN: 1045-7909 18 (1): 118–24.

———. 2009. “The Horse with Two Saddles: Tamxhwe in Modern Golok.” Asian Highlands Perspectives 1: 213–37.

Rees, Helen. 1996. The Many Musics of a Chinese County Town: A Case-study of Co-Existence in Lijiang, Yunnan Province. Asian music. ISSN: 0044-9202. 27(1):63-102.

Rossi, Donatella. 1992. “Some Notes on the Tibetan Amdo Love Songs.” In Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the 5th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Narita 1989, edited by Ihara Shoren and Yamaguchi Zuiho, 705–9. Narita: Naritasan Shinshoji.

Sa mtsho skyid and Gerald Roche. 2011. Purity and Fortune in Phug Sde Tibetan Village Rituals. Asian Highlands Perspectives. 10: 235–284. Available from:

Schneider, Laurence A. 1971. Ku Chieh-kang and China's new history : nationalism and the quest for alternative traditions ISBN: 0520018044. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Shepherd, Eric. 2011. “Singing Dead Tales to Life: Rhetorical Strategies in Shandong Fast Tales.” Oral tradition ISSN: 0883-5365 26 (1): 27–70.

Skal Bzang Nor Bu and Kevin Stuart. 1996. “The Rdo Sbis Tibetan Wedding Ceremonies.”Anthropos. 91: 441-455.

Snying bo rgyal, and R. Solomon Rino. 2008. “Deity Men: Reb Gong Tibetan Trance Mediums in Transition.” Asian Highlands Perspectives 3: 1–251. Available from:

Sørenson, Per K., and Franz Xaver Erhard. 2013a. “An Inquiry into the Nature of Tibetan Proverbs.” Proverbium 30: 281–309.

Sørenson, Per K., and Franz Xaver Erhard. 2013b. “Tibetan Proverbial Literature: Semantics and Metaphoricity in Context.” In Nepalica-Tibetica Festgabe for Christoph Cüppers, edited by Franz-Karl Ehrhard and Petra Maurer, 2:237–52. Andiast: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies GmbH. Available from:

Stuart, Kevin, Banmadorji, and Huangchojia. 1995. Mountain Gods and Trance Mediums: A Qinghai Tibetan Summer Festival. Asian Folklore Studies. 54: 219-237. Available from:

Stuart, Kevin and Xuewei Li. 1994. Tales from China’s Forest Hunters: Oroqen Folktales.Sino-Platonic Papers. 61: 1-59. Available from:

Stuart, Kevin and Limusishiden. 1994. China’s Monguor Minority: Ethnography and Folktales. Sino-Platonic Papers. 1-188. Available from:

*Thurston, Timothy. 2012. “An Introduction to Tibetan Sa Bstod Speeches in A Mdo.” Asian Ethnology ISSN: 1882-6865 71 (1): 49–73.

*Thurston, Timothy. 2013. “‘Careful Village’s Grassland Dispute’: An A Mdo Dialect Tibetan Crosstalk Performance by Sman Bla Skyabs.” CHINOPERL: Journal of Chinese Oral and Performing Literature ISSN: 0193-7774: Journal of CHinese Oral and Performing Literature 32 (2): 156–83. doi:0.1179/0193777413Z.00000000011.

Thurston, Timothy, and Tsering Samdrup. 2012. “An A Mdo Tibetan Pastoralist Family’s Lo Sar in Stong Skor Village.” Asian Highlands Perspectives 21: 33–69. Available from:

Ting, Nai-Tung. 1988. “May Fourth Intellectuals and Chinese Folk Literature.” Asian Folklore Studies 47: 153–61. Available from:

Tshe dbang rdo rje, Alexandru Anton-Luca, and Charles Kevin Stuart. 2009. Tibetan Weddings In Ne'U Na Village ISBN: 9780982401200. New York: YBK Publishers.

Tshe dpal rdo rje. 2009. “A Tibetan Girl’s Hair Changing Ritual.” Asian Highlands Perspectives. Vol. 5: 1-150. Available from:

*Tuohy, Sue. 1991. Cultural Metaphors and Reasoning: Folklore Scholarship and Ideology in Contemporary China. Asian Folklore Studies. 50: 189-220. Available from:

Tuohy, Sue. 1999. The Social Life of Genre: The Dynamics of Folksong in China. Asian music. ISSN: 0044-9202. 30(2): 39-86.

*U, Eddy. 2010. Third Sister Liuand the Making of the Intellectual in Socialist China. The journal of Asian studies. ISSN: 0021-9118. 69(1): 57-83.

*UNESCO Text of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Wang, Xianzheng, Yongzhong Zhu, and Kevin Stuart. 1995. “‘The Brightness of the World’: Minhe Monguor Women Sing.” Mongolian Studies 18: 65–83.

Wang, Guoming. 2010. The Tuzu Gesar Epic: Performance and Singers. Oral tradition ISSN: 0883-5365. 25(2): 381-390.

Watson, Rubie S. 1996. Chinese Bridal Laments: The Claims of a Dutiful Daughter. In Harmony and counterpoint : ritual music in Chinese context ISBN: 0804726582 (cloth : alk. paper), edited by Bell Yung, Evelyn S. Rawki, and Rubie S. Watson, pp. 107-129. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Xie, Jisheng. 2001. “The Mythology of Tibetan Mountain Gods: An Overview.” Oral Tradition.16(2): 343-363. Available from:

Yang, Enhong 杨恩洪. 1995a. Min jian shi shen : Gesa'er yi ren yan jiu (zeng ding ben) = Singer and storyteller in Gesar epic tradition : a follow-up study [Folk Muse: Research on Gesar Performers] 民间诗神格萨尔艺人研究. Beijing: Zhongguo zangxue chuban she.

———. 1995b. Zhongguo shao shu min zu ying xiong shi shi "Gesa'er" ISBN: 7533821734; 9787533821739 中国少数民族英雄史诗格萨尔[China’s ethnic minority Heroic Epic, Gesar]. Hangzhou: Zhejiang Jiaoyu chubanshe.

———. 1998. “A Comparative Study of the Singing Styles of Mongolian and Tibetan Geser/Gesar Artists.” Oral Tradition 13 (2): 422–34. Available from:

———. 2001. “On the Study of the Narrative Structure of Tibetan Epic: A Record of King Gesar.” Oral Tradition 16 (2): 294–316. Available from:

You, Ziying. 2012. Tradition and Ideology: Creating and Performing New Gushi in China, 1962-1966. Asian Ethnology ISSN: 1882-6865. 71(2): 259-280.

*You, Ziying. "Shifting Actors and Power Relations: Contentious Local Responses to the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Contemporary China." Journal of folklore research ISSN: 0737-703752.2 (2015): 253-268.

Zhu, Yongzhong, and Kevin Stuart. 1996. “Ritual Village Songs from East Qinghai: Minhe Monguor Nadun Texts.” CHIME 9: 89–105. Available from:

Zhu, Yongzhong, Qi Huimin, and Kevin Stuart. 1997. Minhe Mangghuer Kugurjia Songs. CHIME. 10-11: 62-78. Available from:

This list was last updated on 18/09/2018