The End of Concern: Maoist China, Activism, and Asian Studies

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    Fabio Lanza

    Publisher: Duke University Press

    Year: 2017

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 280 pages

    ISBN: 9780822369479

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In 1968 a cohort of politically engaged young academics established the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS). Critical of the field of Asian studies and its complicity with the United States' policies in Vietnam, the CCAS mounted a sweeping attack on the field's academic, political, and financial structures. While the CCAS included scholars of Japan, Korea, and South and Southeast Asia, the committee focused on Maoist China, as it offered the possibility of an alternative politics and the transformation of the meaning of labor and the production of knowledge. In The End of Concern Fabio Lanza traces the complete history of the CCAS, outlining how its members worked to merge their politics and activism with their scholarship. Lanza's story exceeds the intellectual history and legacy of the CCAS, however; he narrates a moment of transition in Cold War politics and how Maoist China influenced activists and intellectuals around the world, becoming a central element in the political upheaval of the long 1960s.

What People Are Saying

"Lanza’s book is an important historical documentation of the beginning of a shift in the scholarly study of Asia in the United States and the move to critically assess the foundations of knowledge creation." Miriam Sharma, Critical Asian Studies

"[A] thoughtful and meticulously researched study..." Perry Johansson, Sixties

“A provocative and nuanced case study of how Maoism imported from China largely shaped the student movement in the United States in the 1960s and the 1970s.” Hongshan Li, Journal of American-East Asian Relations

"Sheds vital light on an important US New Left intervention and constitutes necessary reading for scholars of modern China and the global 1960s. . . . Lanza’s sympathetic yet critical excavation of the endeavors of CCAS offers present-day scholars, especially scholars of East Asia working in US institutions, resources to critically evaluate aspects of our own practices." Maggie Clinton, Twentieth-Century China

"Deeply political and, indeed, personal." Joshua Fogel, China Review International

"Fabio Lanza has an extraordinary ability to find profound historical signiificances in student organizations' publications and records. . . . The contents of The End of Concern are extremely relevant to the field [of Chinese studies] as a whole, and this book should interest all those interested in the Global Sixties, the intellectual histories of the American and French Left, fellow travelers of Maoist China, and the impact of Maoism globally." Patrick David Buck, China Review

“Fabio Lanza takes us into an almost forgotten moment in the history of Chinese studies. With precision, care, theoretical smarts, and an astonishing attention to detail, he shows how an engaged band of thinkers grappled with Maoism and the Cultural Revolution while collectively opposing the US war in Vietnam. This is not simply an exercise in rethinking a moment in the Cold War history of sinology. Rather, Lanza situates his study in the wider discursive and activist space of global Maoism, revealing the myriad ways in which Maoism was embraced as an alternative to the time’s capitalist modernity and imperialism. And he makes a compelling case for why revisiting and rethinking the global Maoism of the 1960s is more urgent than ever. The End of Concern is essential reading for our contested present and uncertain future.” Ralph A. Litzinger, coeditor of Ghost Protocol: Development and Displacement in Global China

"Carefully reconstructing the documentary record of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, Fabio Lanza brings unknown, forgotten, and disavowed material to light. With superior research, compassionate critique, and clear, accessible writing, he has defined this period's intellectual history. A wonderful book." Tani E. Barlow, author of The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism

About the Author
Fabio Lanza is Associate Professor of History and East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona, author of Behind the Gate: Inventing Students in Beijing, and coeditor of De-Centering Cold War History: Local and Global Change.


Table of Contents
Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction. Of Ends and Beginnings; or, When China Existed  1
1. America's Asia: Discovering China, Rethinking Knowledge  23
2. To Be, or Not to Be, a Scholar: The Praxis of Radicalism in Academia  67
3. Seeing and Understanding: China as the Place of Desire  101
4. Facing Thermidor: Global Maoism at Its End  143
Epilogue. Area Redux: The Destinies of "China" in the 1980s and 1990s  175
Notes  195
Bibliograpy  241
Index  257

Tags: anticapitalism ....... asia ....... china ....... Duke University Press ....... Fabio Lanza ....... history ....... maoism & marxism-leninism .......