Kiang Lecture Series
UCI Center for Asian Studies

Notes from the Life of a Peripatetic Chinese Revolutionary: Xu Ming (1920-2014)



Xu Ming had many identities: coddled son of an elite family, patriotic activist, underground Communist organizer, Clark University graduate student, New York-based journalist, land reform organizer, Korean War negotiator, diplomat, politically disgraced Rightist, rural laborer, small-town junior high basketball coach, globe-trotting government economic advisor, eyewitness to the 1989 Tiananmen suppression. This lecture explores what we can learn from the life of a single individual about a canonical event of Big History—the Chinese Communist revolution.


Gail Hershatter
UC Santa Cruz

Gail Hershatter is Research Professor and Distinguished Professor Emer. of History at UCSC, and a former President of the Association for Asian Studies.  Her books include The Workers of Tianjin (1986), Personal Voices: China Women in the 1980s (1988, with Emily Honig), Dangerous Pleasures: Prostitution in Twentieth-Century Shanghai (1997), Women in China’s Long Twentieth Century (2004), The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past (2011), and Women and China’s Revolutions (2019). 



Graduate Symposium on the History of the PRC
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
UC Irvine HG 1030
Panel 1: Labor
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Chair: Heidi Tinsman, UCI

“Harvesting Mulberry in Ice, Rearing Silkworms in Fire: An Environmental History of Sericultural Failure in China, 1949-1966”
Yixue Yang, UCSD
“Menstrual Cramps, Frugal Buttons: How Women Remembered the Daqing Campaign for Oil”
Zhaorui Lu, UCI
“Burning Coal to Conserve Copper: Locomotive Policy and Resource Constraints in Mao's China, 1949-1978”
Ben Kletzer, UCSD
“Tufa Liangang: The Logic of ‘Indigenous Technology’ and Its Great Leap Mutation”
Ruohan Zhou, USC
Discussant: Alexander Day, Occidental College
Panel 2: Communist Ideas
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Chair: James Robertson, UCI

“Playing Ping Pong, Thinking Mao Zedong Thought: Revolutionary Chinese Sports in the Third World”
Nathaniel Pigott, UCI
“The Forgotten Carnival of Ideas”
Haoran Zhang, Yale University
“In the Name of Love and the Party: Negotiating Emotions in Marriage During the Mao Era”
Kiki Zhao, UCSD
Discussants: Dorothy Solinger, UC Irvine and Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley, San Diego State


2024 Kiang