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October 25, 2012

Fall 2012 CCS Noon Lecture Series - Fabio Lanza


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Fabio Lanza
Associate Professor of Modern Chinese History
Departments of History and East Asian Studies, University of Arizona

Rethinking “China” in the Global Sixties: Concerned Americans and French Maoists

October 30, 2012
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

It was in the global context of the nineteen-sixties—and possibly for the first time in the century—that China became an inspiration for radical youths, workers and scholars all over the world. But what did “China” mean in places so distant and different as Berkeley and Paris? This presentation focuses on the history of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, an association of young students of Asia in the US, radically critical of US foreign policies but also of the structure of their own field of study. Through this analysis, and through a brief comparison with the phenomenon of French Maoism, Professor Lanza will show how this “China,” far from being the location of adolescent revolutionary dream, could be an essential element in reframing political and intellectual positions in the US and France. But he also suggests that, by examining how the Maoist experiments of the Cultural Revolution were reinterpreted in the West, we can try to clarify the meanings of a period of Chinese history that remains quite obscure. This talk is thus an invitation to rethink the global sixties through China, but also to analyze Maoism in the light of its global appropriation.

Fabio Lanza is associate professor of modern Chinese history in the Departments of History and East Asian Studies of the University of Arizona. His main research interests are political movements and urban history of twentieth-century China. His first book, Behind the Gate: Inventing Students in Beijing (Columbia University Press, 2010) explores the making of the category “students” and the process of politicization of Chinese youth during the May Fourth movement of 1919. He is currently working on a manuscript on Maoism, Asian Studies and intellectual activism in the U.S. and France.

Posted by zzhu at October 25, 2012 08:56 PM