“Revolutionizing Antiquity: The Shanghai Cultural Bureaucracy in the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1968.” The China Quarterly, No. 207 (September 2011), pp. 687-705.
“Reforming Connoisseurship: State and Collectors in Shanghai in the 1950s and 1960s” (改造文物鉴赏：1950-1960年代政府与文物收藏家的博弈). Frontiers of History in China, Vol. 7, Issue 4 (2012), pp. 608-637.
“Culture, Class, and Revolution in China’s Turbulent Decade: A Cultural Revolution State of the Field.” History Compass, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2014), pp. 226-238.
“From Landlord Manor to Red Memorabilia: Reincarnations of a Chinese Museum Town,” co-authored with Jie Li. Modern China, Vol. 42, Issue 1 (2016), pp. 3-37.
“Making a Revolutionary Monument: The Site of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party,” in Red Legacies in China: Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revolution, edited by Jie Li and Enhua Zhang. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2016, pp. 25-55.
“The Old Society and the New Society: Towards a Material Culture of China’s Cultural Revolution,” in The Oxford Handbook of History and Material Culture, edited by Sarah Carter and Ivan Gaskell. Forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
The Shanghai Cultural Bureaucracy in the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1968 [PDF]
Abstract: This article examines the response of Shanghai’s cultural bureaucracy during the Attack on the Four Olds, the Red Guard repudiation of old culture launched in the early years of China’s Cultural Revolution (1966–76). It focuses on how local officials, acting in a space created by the Central Cultural Revolution Group and the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee, worked to control the damage wrought by the political campaign and justified their activities by adapting the rhetoric of revolution. Based on the archival documents of the Shanghai Bureau of Culture, this article traces the reinvention of the cultural bureaucracy and the subsequent shift in the language of preservation. It argues that during the Cultural Revolution, there was an institutionalized and ideologically legitimated movement to protect historic sites and cultural objects. Faced with the destruction of antiquity, Shanghai officials instead proposed its rectification, defending cultural relics in the name of revolution.
State and Collectors in Shanghai in the 1950s and 1960s [PDF]
Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the state and art collectors during the 1950s and 1960s in Shanghai. It explores how the state gained control over art and collecting, by building state museums, by co-opting connoisseurs and their collections, and by extending “socialist transformation” to the antiquities market in 1956. However, state control was far from complete, and some trade in antiquities continued outside of official channels. To crack down on this illegal trade, cultural authorities in Shanghai launched a Five-Antis Campaign in 1964 to punish alleged art speculators. Through its cultural institutions and political campaigns, the state controlled culture but did not monopolize it.
Culture, Class, and Revolution in China’s Turbulent Decade:
A Cultural Revolution State of the Field [PDF]
Abstract: This article surveys the recent scholarship on China’s Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) from a variety of disciplines. It selects three keywords—culture, class, and revolution—and shows how contemporary research has reframed our understanding of each concept. Studies of culture argue that Cultural Revolution culture was an integral part of China’s 20th century project of modernization, examinations of class challenge the role of class status in explaining action while offering new frameworks for understanding class, and analyses of the “revolution” in the Cultural Revolution question how we locate it within the history of 20th century China.
From Landlord Manor to Red Memorabilia:
Reincarnations of a Chinese Museum Town [PDF]
Abstract: What was a revolutionary museum in the Mao era, and what are the lives and afterlives of its artifacts? This article traces the exhibitionary culture of the town of Anren, home to both the Mao-era sculptural icon the Rent Collection Courtyard and the Jianchuan Museum Cluster, China’s largest private museum and collection of Maoist memorabilia. Examining the production and reception of exhibits from the 1950s to the present, we argue that—far from mausoleums that relegate objects safely to history—museums in China have been dynamic and vital public spaces that have defined and redefined the past for the present, serving as both a medium and a product of revolutionary culture. Over the last six decades, museums have paraded the revolution’s spoils, served as a schoolroom for class education, replaced traditional temples as new ritual sites, staged theatrical performances, held court over historical cases, and, finally, commodified their collections into tourist memorabilia.
Making a Revolutionary Monument:
The Site of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
In: Red Legacies in China: Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revolution, edited by Jie Li and Enhua Zhang.
The Old Society and the New Society:
Towards a Material Culture of China’s Cultural Revolution
In:The Oxford Handbook of History and Material Culture, edited by Sarah Carter and Ivan Gaskell.
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