San Francisco State University, Established 1899, 1600 Holloway Ave. SF, CA 94132

SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.

#045--February 4, 1999; For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted DeAdwyler /Chris Kilkes 415/338-1665

How the Chinese fable of "Mulan" came to America

CHSA and SFSU to sponsor lecture on the Americanization of an ancient Chinese legend

SAN FRANCISCO -- February 4, 1999 -- Continuing the university’s centennial year lecture series, San Francisco State University and the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) will co-sponsor a lecture on the "Americanization of Mulan" on Friday, Feb. 19 from 7-9 p.m. at the CHSA’s offices, 644 Broadway Street, 4th floor, in San Francisco. Admission is free.

Lorraine Dong, professor of Asian American Studies at SFSU and president of the CHSA, will analyze the impact of the ancient story of Hua Mulan on Chinese America. The story of Mulan is a popular Chinese legend about a woman who took her elderly father’s place in a military draft. She went on to great success, winning battle after battle for over 12 years without ever being revealed as a woman.

During the lecture and slide presentation, Dong will discuss how the story of Mulan first appeared in China as a ballad during the Northern Wei period (386-534). The lecture will focus especially on the evolution of the Mulan story in the U.S., which first appeared in Maxine Hong Kingston’s book, "Woman Warrior," in 1976. Since then several children’s books and a movie have appeared, exposing a new generation of Chinese Americans to the ancient myth.

A native of San Francisco’s Chinatown, Dong received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from SFSU’s Chinese Program in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Ph.D in Asian Languages and Literature. She received both Fulbright and Rockefeller fellowships, collaborated on the writing of three award-winning films, and co-wrote the book, "The Coming Man." Dong currently serves as the society’s president and has been a member of its board of direc tors for the past seven years.

SFSU, which was founded in 1899, is celebrating its centennial year by co-sponsoring with the CHSA a series of lectures by SFSU faculty and alumni. For more information about the lecture series, call (415) 391-1188.


This release was co-written by student writer, Chris Kilkes.

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