Material Culture and Mao’s China

Material Culture and Mao’s China is a multi-year collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Altehenger, an historian of modern China at Oxford University.  This project has both a scholarly and a public component.  It brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers working on some aspect of material culture from China’s Mao period (1949-1976).  Two conferences, which included outside scholars and museum professionals, took place in New Haven [PDF] and London [PDF].  The scholarly component of the project resulted in an edited volume, Material Contradictions in Mao’s China, published by the University of Washington Press in 2022.  The public outreach aspect of the project resulted in a website entitled The Mao Era in Objects, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and designed by King’s College Digital Lab.  It includes essays and primary sources for students around the world who are studying modern China.