“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.

“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/.

“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/.

“The Cultural Revolution at 50: Part I,” (Los Angeles Review of Books, February 24, 2016)

When we teach the Cultural Revolution here in the United States, our textbook version is that Chairman Mao, fearing “revisionism” within his own Communist Party, launched an attack on perceived internal enemies. Our students tend to be most fascinated with the Red Guards, young people who Mao called on to “make revolution” by joining him in an attack on the old world.

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

“A New Opera and Hong Kong’s Utopian Legacy” (China File, April 10, 2015)

This year, the 43rd annual Hong Kong Arts Festival commissioned a chamber opera in three acts called Datong: The Chinese Utopia. Depicting the life and times of Kang Youwei (1858-1927), a philosopher and reformer of China’s last Qing dynasty, it premiered in the theater of the Hong Kong City Hall.

Read more at: http://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/culture/new-opera-and-hong-kongs-utopian-legacy.