China and Inner Asia
This panel seeks to investigate the vicissitudes of social, political, and cultural transformations—from the founding the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 to the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s—in the ethnic frontier regions of the PRC. Specifically, it asks how and why the revolutionary agendas of the Chinese Community Party (CCP) emerged, developed, and was adapted to meet the specific challenges of Party work in the country’s minority borderlands. It argues that the ethnic frontiers, geographically and culturally peripheral to the centralizing PRC state, reveal the contradictions, paradoxes, and violence critical for a historical understanding of China’s twentieth-century revolution.
By carefully examining four cases of local history, ranging from an ethnic Korean community in the Northeast to a Tibetan prefecture in the Southwest, the panel will address the following questions: How did the Chinese revolution of 1949 unfold within the dynamic context of local ethnopolitics? In what way did indigenous elites and local communities respond to the revolution and the arrival of the Communist Party? How did ethnic identities—be they Mongol, Tibetan, or Korean—inform the political and survival strategies of local minority communities? How did notions of class and class struggle, the ideological foundation of the Mao regime, intersect with ethnicity over the course of the various political movements initiated by the CCP? How can these local histories of the Mao-era be situated within the long durée of twentieth-century Chinese history?
Paper Presenter: Xiaoshun Zeng – University of Washington
Paper Presenter: Dáša Mortensen – Davidson College
Paper Presenter: Ute Wallenböck – Palacký University Olomouc
Paper Presenter: Dong Jo Shin – College of Saint Rose