Wu, Yiching

Yiching Wu (Ph.D., University of Chicago)
Associate Professor
Department of East Asian Studies
Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs
Office Phone: 416-946-5110
Office Location: Robarts Library 14133 (14th Floor)
E-mail: yiching.wu@utoronto.ca  

Yiching Wu teaches East Asian Studies, modern Chinese history, and anthropology at the University of Toronto. An anthropologist trained at the University of Chicago, his research focuses on the history, society, and politics of Mao’s China, in particular during the Cultural Revolution. His book, The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2014), was awarded the 2013 President’s Book Award by the Social Science History Association. His main scholarly interests include historical anthropology, critical social theory, populism and social protest, modern Chinese history, Chinese socialism and postsocialism, and politics of historical knowledge. He is currently working on two book-length projects about China’s late 1960s, on the demobilization of Cultural Revolution mass politics and the contradictory role of Mao during the Cultural Revolution, respectively.

Academic Background:

  • Ph.D. University of Chicago
  • M.A. University of Chicago
  • M.A. Columbia University
  • B.A. East China Normal University, China


  • From Socialism to Postsocialism: Mao’s China and Beyond
  • China’s Cultural Revolution in History and Memory
  • Nationalism and Revolution in Modern Asia
  • Theorizing Class after the “Cultural Turn”

Selected Publications

The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2014). Winner of the 2013 President’s Book Award, the Social Science History Association.

“Coping with Crisis in the Wake of the Cultural Revolution: Toward a Historical Critique of Chinese Postsocialism,” Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory 21, no. 4 (2013), 1-32.

“The Great Retreat and Its Discontents: Reexamining the Shengwulian Episode in the Cultural Revolution,” The China Journal, no. 71, 2014. Forthcoming.

“How State Enumeration Spoiled Mao’s Last Revolution,” Journal of Modern Chinese History 7, no. 2 (2013), 1-18.

“‘Revolution’ and ‘Restoration’ in Contemporary China: A Genealogical Inquiry,” in Xueping Zhong, ed., Culture and Social Transformations: Theoretical Framework and Chinese Context (Brill, 2013), 293-314.

“Chinese Socialism and Market Transition: A Critique,” in China and Socialism: Criticisms and Commentaries, Du Jiping, ed. (Taipei: Renjian chubanshe, 2006), 178-201 (in Chinese).

“Rethinking ‘Capitalist Restoration’ in China,” Monthly Review, 57 (6): 44-63, 2005 (translated into Danish, Bengali, Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese).

“Prelude to Culture: Interrogating Colonial Rule in Early British Hong Kong,” Dialectical Anthropology, 24 (1999):141-170.