The Battle for Memory in China

The Battle for Memory in China

Ian Johnson - Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Monday, February 12, 2024 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Room 136, Humanities Quadrangle See map
320 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Newspaper headlines describe a China that is uniformly bleak: a slowing economy, tensions with the West, and a surveillance state that seems to have crushed all opposing voices. But in his new book Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and Their Battle for the Future, Ian Johnson presents a more nuanced picture of Xi Jinping’s China, one where a vibrant movement of underground filmmakers, magazine publishers, and authors challenge the Communist Party on its most important source of legitimacy: its control of history. Join us as Ian presents his book and introduces us to China’s counter-history movement, which echoes struggles in our own countries for a more equitable and just accounting of the past.

Ian Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, researcher, and senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His new book, Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future, shows how–despite the best efforts of Xi Jinping’s surveillance state–a nationwide movement has coalesced to challenge the Communist Party on its most hallowed ground: its control of history.

Copies of the authors work will be available for purchase at the Yale Bookstore.

Lunch will be provided