This edited volume provides an overview of the many forms of critical popular memories of the Mao era that have recently developed in China. While the state has attempted to limit critical memories to the private realm, they have increasingly appeared online and in the media, in cultural productions and in the publications of amateur historians, despite the crackdown in the last few years. These popular memories challenge the officical historiography and have begun to modify the dominant narratives of the Mao era. For example, public debates have taken place over the last decade about some key episodes in PRC history: the Anti-Rightist Movement, the Great Famine of 1959-1961 and the Cultural Revolution. While trauma and nostalgia dominated earlier expressions of memories of the Mao era, the new narratives, which appear in semi-official or unofficial journals, in independent documentary films, in private museums, or in oral history and archival projects by amateur historians, seek to open a space for a critical debate about China’s recent past.
Contributions by Jean-Philippe Béja, Wu Si, Jun Liu, Kirk Denton, Sebastian Veg, Judith Pernin, Aihe Wang, Frank Dikötter, Michel Bonnin, and Daniel Leese.
The Editor’s Introduction and Michel Bonnin’s chapter on the Rustication Movement are freely available through the publishers website: https://hkupress.hku.hk/pro/con/1690.pdf
Denise Ho in The China Quarterly, June 2019.
Laurence Coderre in the Journal of Asian Studies, December 2019.
Vera Schwarcz in PRC History Review, December 2019.
Els Van Dongen in China Perspectives, September 2020.
Frances An in Asian Cha, no. 46, February 2021.
Kimberley Ens Manning in The China Journal, vol. 85, January 2021.