From Mass Science to Participatory Action Research: Maoist Legacies in Contemporary Chinese Knowledge Production
Colloquium | February 6 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Doe Library
Andrew F. Jones, East Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Berkeley
Sigrid Schmalzer, History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
One of the signature elements of Mao-era science was the insistence on mobilizing the masses. Today, propaganda accounts of such activities ring hollowor at best perhaps chime quaint. Yet some Chinese social scientists are eagerly adopting the theory and language of "participatory action research," an academic field that emerged out of the 1960s and 1970s global radicalism in which Maoist political philosophy and epistemology played crucial roles. This lecture will cross national boundaries and the 1978 divide to trace the influence of Maoismand the place of China more broadlyin leftist academic movements around the world, with a specific focus on agricultural science and rural development.