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Felix Wemheuer – Rebels in Power: Factionalism in Shandong during China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1969)
March 25, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Speaker: Felix Wemheuer, Chair Professor of Modern China Studies, University of Cologne
During the early Cultural Revolution (1966-1969), factional conflicts inside the CCP (Communist Party of China) and within the society resulted in civil war and the almost collapse of the party-state. Wemheuer will present Shandong Province as a case study for the development of factional conflicts at the various administrative levels of state and society. Based on various field trips, archival research and Oral History interviews with former rebel leaders, it will be shown how the coalition of rebel cadres, students, workers and soldiers was created in Shandong and why they were able to “seize power” in February of 1967. The events and developments that ultimately led to the splitting of the rebels and their final downfall in 1969 will also be examined. The talk will contribute to a new understanding of factional politics.
Felix Wemheuer belongs to a new generation of Western scholars who are rewriting the history of Maoist China. His publications include Famine Politics in Maoist China and the Soviet Union (Yale UP 2014) and A Social History of Maoist China: Conflict and Change, 1949-1976 (Cambridge UP 2019). Between 2008 and 2010, he was a visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center.