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

 Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)

One of the signature elements of Mao-era science was the insistence on mobilizing the masses. Today, propaganda accounts of such activities ring hollow—or 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 Maoism—and the place of China more broadly—in leftist academic movements around the world, with a specific focus on agricultural science and rural development., 510-643-6321