Reassessing China’s Cultural Revolution: 50 Years Later

AHA Session 250
Sunday, January 10, 2016: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton Atlanta, Second Floor)
Alexander C. Cook, University of California, Berkeley
Alexander C. Cook, University of California, Berkeley

Session Abstract

The year 2016 marks the fiftieth anniversary of China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). This panel brings together a younger generation of experts to reflect on previous scholarship, highlight new approaches, and reassess the historical significance of this contentious and controversial era.

In order to encourage dialogue across the panel and with the audience, we will adopt a roundtable format.  To begin, each panelist will provide a structured, ten-minute introduction to a general topic.  Denise Ho will situate the Cultural Revolution within the larger sweep of modern Chinese history.  Next, Yiching Wu will discuss emerging sources and methods used in recent scholarship on the Cultural Revolution.  Fabio Lanza will bring China’s Cultural Revolution into global perspective, focusing on the circulation of intellectuals, ideas, and identities in the 1960s.  Finally, Daniel Leese will introduce new research on the legacies of the Cultural Revolution in China. Abstracts of these presentations are attached.  These opening remarks are meant to get the conversation started, and will be followed by several rounds of questions from the discussant and the audience. (The chair/commentator Alexander Cook has specially prepared questions addressed to two or more panelists at a time.)  The panel aims to situate our expanding knowledge of the era in broader temporal, geographical, methodological contexts, and we invite the audience to participate in our reassessment.

Since we hope to provide a fresh look at China’s Cultural Revolution, this panel is comprised exclusively of younger scholars (advanced assistant and early associate professors) from Asia, Europe, and North America. The panel is otherwise diverse with respect to gender, nationality, and type of institution.  This proposal was solicited by the AHA Program Committee.

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