Material Culture and Mao’s China

What was the material culture of Mao’s China (1949-1976)? 

The first three decades of the People’s Republic of China are often perceived as a time of material privation, of Mao badges and model operas, and of a monochromatic world of identical Mao suits.  In this way, the Mao years are contrasted with the consumer cultures of the preceding Republican period and the post-Mao era of reform.  This interdisciplinary conference brings China scholars working in the fields of architectural history, art history, cultural studies, film studies, history, and performance studies to examine the material culture in and of Mao’s China.  The six panels include the themes of fabrication, building, production/consumption, circulation/utility, invention/reinvention, and performance/the body.  The conference will feature two object study sessions with materials provided by the presenters. 

Material Culture and Mao’s China is organized by Denise Ho (Yale University) and Jennifer Altehenger (King’s College London) and is sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University.


Schedule & Venue

Friday, September 14th, 2018 | 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Sterling Memorial Library, Room 218 (120 High Street, New Haven CT 06511) (Map)

Saturday, September 15th, 2018 | 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Luce Hall, Room 202 (34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven CT 06511) (Map)

Please see downloadable schedule above for full details. 



Due to seating restrictions, registration is now closed for both Friday and Saturday sessions. Thank you for your interest. 


Speakers & Discussants

Jennifer Altehenger (King’s College London)

Jonathan Bach (The New School)

Sarah Anne Carter (The Chipstone Foundation)

Laurence Coderre (New York University)

Edward Cooke (Yale University)

Deborah Davis (Yale University)

Jacob Eyferth (University of Chicago)

Karl Gerth (University of California, San Diego)

Christine Ho (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)

Denise Ho (Yale University)

Dorothy Ko (Barnard College)

Jie Li (Harvard University)

Vivian Li (Worcester Art Museum)

Hanchao Lu (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Covell Meyskens (Naval Postgraduate School)

Weilin Pan (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences)

Peidong Sun (Fudan University)

Cole Roskam (Hong Kong University)

Emily Wilcox (University of Michigan)

Madeleine Yue Dong (University of Washington)