The Battle for Memory in China

Event time: 
Monday, February 12, 2024 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Humanities Quadrangle HQ, 136 See map
320 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Newspaper headlines describe a China that is uniformly bleak: a slowing economy, tensions with the West, and a surveillance state that seems to have crushed all opposing voices. But in his new book Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and Their Battle for the Future, Ian Johnson presents a more nuanced picture of Xi Jinping’s China, one where a vibrant movement of underground filmmakers, magazine publishers, and authors challenge the Communist Party on its most important source of legitimacy: its control of history. Join us as Ian presents his book and introduces us to China’s counter-history movement, which echoes struggles in our own countries for a more equitable and just accounting of the past.

Ian Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, researcher, and senior fellow for China studies(link is external) at the Council on Foreign Relations. His new book, Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future(link is external), shows how–despite the best efforts of Xi Jinping’s surveillance state–a nationwide movement has coalesced to challenge the Communist Party on its most hallowed ground: its control of history.

Lunch will be provided