“The Double Helix of Chinese History” (Project Syndicate, March 15, 2018)

Now that China’s National People’s Congress has voted – 2,958 to two – to abolish presidential term limits, Xi Jinping could rule China indefinitely, rather than completing a tenure of two five-year terms in 2023. To what degree is Xi set to become the all-powerful ruler many observers predict?

Read more at: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/china-xi-authoritarianism-and-reform-by-denise-y-ho-2018-03.

“Reading Big-Character-Posters” (The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, November 7, 2017)

What is a Big-Character-Poster? It is a type of political writing, expressed on paper—in handwritten characters—and posted in a public place; a wall covered with such posters established a forum for discussion and dissemination.

Read more at: https://medium.com/fairbank-center/exhibiting-the-cultural-revolution-part-1-reading-big-character-posters-d3edd7bb0104.

“Exhibition as Theater: Art and China After 1989 at the Guggenheim” (Los Angeles Review of Books, “Exhibition as Theater, October 20, 2017)

The first time I saw Ai Weiwei’s art, I was appalled. Almost twenty years ago, long before he became an internationally-known contemporary artist, one of my Chinese-language classmates at Qinghua University brought me to Ai’s studio on the outskirts of Beijing.

Read more at: https://chinachannel.org/2017/10/20/exhibition-as-theater/.

“Can Free Speech on American Campuses Withstand Chinese Nationalism?” (China File, May 25, 2017)

Yang Shuping’s University of Maryland commencement address and its attendant furor is nothing new, as Pamela Kyle Crossley points out. In 1999, my classmates and I—in the Yale college courtyard from which Yifu Dong just graduated—woke up to find the entryways plastered with posters condemning the American attack on the Belgrade embassy.

Read more at: http://www.chinafile.com/conversation/can-free-speech-american-campuses-withstand-chinese-nationalism.

“The Chinese Cultural Revolution at Fifty” (Origins, August 2016)

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), a decade-long period of political turmoil that included attacks on alleged class enemies, the toppling of Party officials high and low, and the reinstatement of political control via revolutionary committees supported by the military.

Read more at: http://origins.osu.edu/milestones/august-2016-chinese-cultural-revolution-fifty.

“The Cultural Revolution at 50: Part II” (Los Angeles Review of Books, March 2, 2016)

In the past, Cultural Revolution culture has been easy to dismiss. Despite Western fascination will objects that we might call “Mao kitsch”—buttons, statues, and posters—and Chinese nostalgia for Cultural Revolution music or plays, we have written off these cultural products as “just propaganda,” or not really culture at all.

Read more at: http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/chinablog/cultural-revolution-50-qa-four-specialists-part-two/.