Anyuan: Mining China’s Revolutionary Tradition

Anyuan: Mining China's Revolutionary Tradition

Elizabeth Perry - Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government; Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Room 203, Henry R. Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 6511

How do we explain the unexpected resilience of the Chinese Communist political system? One answer, Elizabeth Perry suggests, lies in the Chinese Communists’ creative development and deployment of cultural resources – during their revolutionary rise to power and afterwards. Skillful “cultural positioning” and “cultural patronage,” on the part of Mao Zedong, his comrades and successors, has helped to construct a polity in which a once alien Communist system came to be accepted as essentially “Chinese.” Perry traces this process through a case study of the Anyuan coal mine, a place where Mao and other early leaders of the Chinese Communist Party mobilized an influential labor movement at the beginning of their revolution, and whose history later became a contested touchstone of “political correctness” in the People’s Republic of China.

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China, Taiwan, Hong Kong