Re: CFP: "Is a History of the Cultural Revolution Possible?"

From Martin Hart-Landsberg <>
Date Tue, 20 Sep 2005 13:10:22 -0700
In-reply-to <>
References <>

I am not familiar with Alain Badiou, who seems to be a key person in 
anchoring this program.  If someone is familiar with his work, could 
they provide some background to his approach and position on the CR and 
relevant/related issues.

Marty Hart-Landsberg

--On Tuesday, September 20, 2005 11:32 AM -0500 Saul Thomas 
<> wrote:

> Open Call for Participation
> "Is a History of the Cultural Revolution Possible?"
> University of Washington, Seattle
> February 24-26, 2006
> The central role of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in modern
> political history and contemporary philosophy of history has
> thus far eluded serious consideration.  The reasons for this
> are various.  First, a history of the Cultural Revolution will
> require new theoretical perspectives as well as new research
> procedures.  The Cultural Revolution is usually expurgated
> from scholarly agendas or considered simply as a form of
> negation, or fetishized as an ahistorical madness.  This
> radical negation of historicity has led to an impasse where
> political situations lack appropriate analysis.  Second, as
> the large number of historical documents held in reserve at
> the great libraries of Peking University and Qinghua
> University are released in CD-ROM form, the absence of a
> viable analytical or philosophical framework to guide
> specialized research on the Cultural Revolution becomes
> increasingly obvious.  Indeed, a problem raised by the
> question "Is a History of the Cultural Revolution Possible" is
> precisely what relation will be struck between the
> extraordinarily prolific and available primary source
> materials and logics for comprehending the event itself.
> Thus, third, historians run the risk that in the absence of
> reflective, thoughtful analysis our scholarship will remain
> mired in fantasies and indebted to apolitical mythologies.
> "Is a History of the Cultural Revolution Possible?  A Workshop
> in Concert with Alain Badiou" will be held at the University
> of Washington, Seattle, on February
> 23-25, 2006.  The intellectual origins of the project lie in
> ongoing discussions among Alessandro Russo, Claudia Pozzana,
> Donald Lowe, Wang Hui and Tani Barlow on questions of 20th
> century Chinese history.  The visit of Alain Badiou to the
> University as a Katz Lecturer is providing the occasion for us
> to directly raise the question of how and whether a history of
> the Chinese Cultural Revolution can be written.  Alain Badiou
> will attend the workshop.  Invited guest scholars are
> scheduled to present their research and speculations during
> the first day.
> This call for proposals solicits participation from interested
> scholars for a second day of presentations and discussions on
> the question "Is a history of the Cultural Revolution
> possible?" to take place on February 26. Local scholars are
> particularly encouraged to send proposals.  Given the urgency
> of this project and its timeliness, however, we look forward
> to participation from all quarters.
> Please send a one page statement describing your project to
> Prof. Tani Barlow, Department of History, Box 353560,
> University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 or by email to
> before October 15, 2005.  Notification
> will come in the early fall.