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Modern China Lecture Series Featuring Linh Vu – The Politics of Martyr Commemoration in Modern China and Contemporary Taiwan
November 29 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Speaker: Linh Vu, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University
This talk focuses on (1) the politics of martyr commemoration in Republican China (1911–1949) and (2) the governance of the posthumous identities of the Nationalist Chinese dead in contemporary Taiwan. The Chinese Republic laid the foundation for the modern nation-state through the governance of these millions of war dead. In addition, the commemoration of war martyrs has been the unifying and consolidating force in the formation of national identity and sovereignty in a place with complicated status such as Taiwan. My case studies of China during the Republican era and Taiwan in recent decades demonstrate how the power of the dead necessitates that political, social, and cultural institutions develop the means to control the way by which they are remembered. The dead are invested with significance to constitute the national spirit, to affirm political legitimacy, and to recreate social coherence and temporal continuity.
Linh Vu is an assistant professor of history in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA. Her first book, Governing the Dead: Martyrs, Memorials, and Necrocitizenship in Modern China (Cornell University Press, 2021), examines the efforts of the Chinese nation-state to record, commemorate, and compensate military and civilian dead and how such efforts transformed China’s social and cultural institutions.
This event also available on Zoom. Register at: https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6yUmfHCUSRy5_1M2doG8ow