The Presence of the Past in a Fast-Changing China

Jeff Wasserstrom, Chancellor's Professor of History, UC Irvine
| CSCC Conference Room, Fisher-Bennett 345

This talk will draw on material from the author's new edited volume, The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China, just published this summer, to explore the various ways that events and stories about the past figure in current Chinese politics.  How do real and imagined historical struggles between China and other countries drive contemporary nationalism?  What is familiar and novel about how Xi Jinping, as opposed to previous Chinese authoritarian figures, Communist and non-Communist alike, has invoked the past to justify his actions?  These are the kinds of questions that will be addressed by the presenter, a specialist in history who regularly writes about current affairs for newspapers, magazines, and online journals of opinion and the author of five books, the most recent of which is Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo (Penguin, 2016).

Lunch provided. Open to all.

Co-sponsored by Foreign Policy Research Institute