Contributors to this special issue investigate the current state of People's Republic of China (PRC) history, positing that the methods Anglophone, non-Chinese scholars have developed and deployed over the last several decades led to important misreadings of the historical record. The contributors argue that Chinese people have, from the rise and fall of Maoist ideology to the subsequent post-disillusionment era, produced political subjectivities and revolutionary upheavals that challenged traditional societal and pedagogical systems. Therefore, producing better scholarship requires taking seriously the way PRC history is necessarily and profoundly political. Essay topics include the unattainable and unfilled aspirations that Maoism engendered, the problems that mark the practice of PRC history to this day, and the ideological approach that frames both how we read Mao-era sources and understand Maoist politics in general. Other topics include how US academia writes the history of the PRC--especially with the problematic dominance of social scientific methods--and the differences between labor in Maoist China and labor under capitalism.
Contributors. Jeremy Brown, Alexander Day, Matthew D. Johnson, Fabio Lanza, Covell Meyskens, Sigrid Schmalzer, Aminda Smith, Jake Werner
Special issue of postions: asia critique (vol 29, no. 4)