Lisha Xu

Teaching Fellow in Chinese and Translation Studies

  • Chinese and Translation Studies
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
  • The University of Edinburgh

Contact details



4.06, 40 George Square

Newington, Edinburgh
Post code


  • Office Hours: Wednesday 13:00--14:00


Lisha Xu is currently a Teaching Fellow in Chinese and Translation Studies at the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures at The University of Edinburgh. She obtained her Ph.D. in Translation from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her research interests are in theatre translation and literary translation in general, especially translating xiqu for the Anglophone stage and the study of Chinese translators of the early 20th-century diaspora. She has been invited by editors to contribute book chapters to academic essay collections to be published by Routledge and by Hodder & Stoughton (Hachette). She has been commissioned to edit a special issue of JoSTrans on theatre translation, to be published in 2024-25, and is currently preparing a research monograph on the topic of xiqu translation.


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October 2017 – January 2021

PhD in Translation Studies

Centre for Translation and Interpreting, Queen’s University Belfast

September 2014 – July 2017

MA in Translation Theory and Practice:

School of Foreign Studies, Minzu University of China

August 2015 – May 2016

Exchange Programme in Creative Writing:

College of Arts and Sciences, Southern Illinois University

September 2010 – July 2014

BA in English Language and Literature

School of Foreign Studies, Minzu University of China

Responsibilities & affiliations

Teaching Fellow in Chinese Studies and Translation Studies

Undergraduate teaching

Foundation English-Chinese Translation

Thinking in Translation

Postgraduate teaching

Portfolio of Written Translation Exercises in Chinese 1/2

Research in Translation Studies

Gender and Translation

Translation and Creativity

Translating the Sacred: Concepts, Texts and Transmission of Religions

Translation Studies 1/2

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

Translation and Digital Representation on Stage; Audio-visual Translation in Theatre; Translation technologies in Theatre; Translation and Culture Anxiety - translation of Classical Chinese Operas for new audiences; Diaspora translators; Translation and Advocacy

Current research interests

I am currently interested in Translation technologies in Theatre Translation, eg. Audio-visual Translation in Theatre, Translation and Digital Representation on Stage and how technologies will ensure accessibility for a wider audience in the theatre.

Past research interests

Keywords: Translating Classical Chinese Culture: Translation and Culture Anxiety - translation of Classical Chinese Operas for new audiences; Diaspora translators; Translation and Advocacy My PhD research looks at how Peking Opera, one of the most widely-staged forms of Classical Chinese Opera in China today, might be translated for performance in the English-speaking world. In this regard, my thesis analyses Lady Precious Stream, the first English-language production of Peking Opera on the London stage (1934) by a Chinese translator (S.I. Hsiung), which serves as an extended case study in this regard. Through the case study, I analyse Hsiung’s strategies for negotiating the formal and narrative codes that bind Peking Opera performance into its characteristically unified harmonious aesthetic. In other words, translation for performance is considered in my research as a form of writing that both recognizes the demands of spectatorship, as well as the rights and interests of the original.

Invited speaker

  1. August 2024, “Translating Classical Chinese Operas Workshop.” Queen’s University Belfast Summer School with Hunan Normal University. (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
  2. July 2024, “Translating Classical Chinese Opera: the case of contemporary China.” Roundtable Panellist, Worldmaking on Stage: Theatre Translation Practice and Future-making, Out of the Wings Forum 2024. (King’s College London, UK)
  3. February 2024, “Guan Hanqing on the London Stage.” Research Seminar in Global China Research Centre. (University of Exeter, UK)
  4. February 2024, “Film versions of Lady Precious Stream.” Research Seminar. (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
  5. June 2022, “Translating for Intangible Cultural Heritage – A Case Study on Classical Chinese Operas”. (University of Manchester, UK)
  6. June 2022, “Why is Theatre Translation Important in China – The Example of Xiqu Translation.” Young Scholar Forum. (Beijing Jiaotong University, China)
  7. March 2022, “Translating Lady Precious Stream for Today.” Mutah University, Jordan.


October 2022, Chair of the Theatre Anthropology Panel in “Non-Waste Art Anthropology” organised by Principal Investigator Professor Kongshao Zhuang (Principal Investigator), Yunan University of China.

Papers delivered

  1. November 2023, “Translation, Knowledge and Creativity in the Time of ChatGPT.” 5th Conference of the Association of Programmes in Translation and Interpreting Studies, UK and Ireland. (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
  2. June 2023, “Translation as a Knowledge Path: Teaching for Non-specialist Undergraduates in the Time of ChatGPT.” The 20th International Conference on Teaching and Learning Chinese in Higher Education. (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  3. June 2022, “The Poetics of Harmony: Peking Opera and Spanish Golden Age Theatre.” Modern Languages Association International Symposium: Being Hospitable: Languages and Cultures Across Borders. (University of Glasgow, UK)
  4. June 2021, “Advocating Recognition, Advocating Resistance: A Chinese Modernist Diaspora Translator.” Translation Studies in East Asia: Tradition, Transition and Transcendence. (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China)
  5. June 2019, “Make it New: Lady Precious Stream as a Modernist Adventure in Cross-cultural Theatre Translation.” 3rd Leeds CTS Conference in Translation and Interpreting Studies. (University of Leeds, UK)
  6. March 2019, “The Afterlife of the Golden and Silver Wings Research.” Special Symposium on Silver Wing in Royal Anthropological Institute. (Bristol, UK)
  7. June 2018, “An Adventure in Intercultural Theatre: The Cultural Translation and Adaptation of Lady Precious Stream.” International Symposium for Young Researchers in Translation, Interpreting, Intercultural Studies and East Asian Studies. (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)
  8. 2017-2020, annual presentations as part of the PhD Research Showcase offered by the Centre for Translation and Interpreting at Queen’s University Belfast.

Journal Articles

Xu, Lisha, and David Johnston. "Between safeguarding and translating: Chinese classical opera and Spanish Golden Age theatre." Translation Studies 15, no. 3 (2022): 323-339.

Johnston, David, and Lisha Xu. "Ecologies of translation: Chinese classical opera and Spanish Golden Age theatre." Boletín de la Biblioteca de Menéndez Pelayo 97, no. 1 (2021): 197-224.

Book Chapter

Xu, L. (2024) “Advocacy and Recognition: Chinese Diaspora Translator S.I. Hsiung.” The Translation as Advocacy: Perspectives on Practice, Performance and Publishing (Eds. Catherine Boyle & Sarah Maitland). London: John Murray Press. 123-148.

Research Monograph

Translating Classical Chinese Opera: The Translation for a Performance of Emotion, Routledge Studies in Literary Translation Series, Routledge. 2025. (Contract signed)