“New China” as Method: The Chinese Revolution and a Decolonizing British Empire

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Date(s) - 09/01/2020
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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“New China” as Method: The Chinese Revolution and a Decolonizing British Empire

The EAS Speakers Series presents a talk by Brian Tsui (Associate Professor, Department of Chinese Culture, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) on January 9, 2020 entitled “‘New China’ as Method: The Chinese Revolution and a Decolonizing British Empire.” The talk will be held in the EAS Lounge (14th floor of Robarts Library). Please see an abstract of the talk below:

“The founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 was as much a Chinese as a global event. Across British and its crumbling empire in Asia, anti-colonialists, critiques of imperialism and religious figures – most of whom rejected Marxism – the advent of “New China” prompted deep reflections on the global order, nation-building strategies, and social relations and norms in the early 1950s, as decolonization and Cold War geopolitics competed and conspired to define life after (formal) empire. This presentation explores the terms by which sympathetic observers within the Indian nationalist and British Anglican communities understood the People’s Republic. It shows how “New China” presented a method for figures both in the British metropole and its empire to imagine a decolonial future.”

Brian Tsui teaches at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is interested in the intersection between revolutionary politics and mobilization of knowledge on both the left and the right in China and beyond. China’s Conservative Revolution: The Quest for a New Order, 1927-1949 (Cambridge University Press, 2018), his first book, is now in paperback. His current research focuses on the event of “New China”, zeroing in on how the People’s Republic was interpreted by opinion-makers in Britain and its Asian empire in the early 1950s. One such project, titled “Embracing ‘New China’: An Intellectual History of China-India Friendship, 1950-1955” is supported by the General Research Fund (Project Number: 15600218), Research Grants Council, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

 

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