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Cultural Revolution, lectures by Dr. Marc Winter (University of Zurich)

Cultural Revolution, lectures by Dr. Marc Winter (University of Zurich)

Martin Lavicka15 Apr 2015Leave a comment

Project CHINET and Department of Asian Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, would like to cordially invite you to lectures by Dr. Marc Winter from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. These lectures are organized under the code ASH/XX1 and the successful participants will be awarded 3 credits.

Cultural Revolution

Course leader: Dr. Marc Winter (University of Zurich)


Monday April 27, 2015, 16:45 – 19:15, room KC – 2.07

Tuesday April 28, 2015, 16:45 – 19:15, room KC – 2.07

Wednesday April 29, 2015, 16:45 – 19:15, room KC – 2.07

Thursday April 30, 2015, 16:45 – 18:15, room KC – 2.07

Location: Department of Asian Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, Křížkovského 14, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Leaflet can be downloaded here

Detailed program can be viewed here

Reading materials can be downloaded here in zip format.

The Cultural Revolution wenhua da geming 文化大革命 is one of the most intensely studied periods of the People’s Republic of China. Although its death toll is a distant second to the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution is nonetheless received as the most terrifying time. The image of Red Guards pillaging houses and destroying lives and property while waiving a sea of red flags is so iconic, that it has been used in various movies and is indeed one of the first memories eye-witnesses will recollect.

Studying the Cultural Revolution today, almost 50 years before its outbreak, can in itself be a large enterprise, since the research literature on the subject as well as the amount of documents from the era is very vast. Research has concentrated on various aspects of the period between 1966 and 1976 like the chronology of the events (Yan), the political implications of it (MacFarquhar), the central players in the at the top of party and state (Various biographies), but also the language or the performing arts of the Cultural Revolution. The Period has been analyzed from economic as well as political angles and the international influence on and of the Chinese Cultural as well as the image of Chairman Mao in all its iconic implications has been and will continue to be the focus of exhibitions and research projects, popular literature and the performing arts. In short, the Chinese Cultural Revolution is more than an isolated historical incident or period, it is a worldwide icon.

While it is a period to be studied, among recent books Mao’s Last Revolution by MacFarquhar and Schoenhals which provide a general history of the period are fundamental as a preparation for a course on the subject. But in my experience the teaching of events and names is less significant than making students understand the emotional implication of the Cultural Revolution, the rush of power for Red Guards, the crippling depression of being denounced as an enemy of the people, the weight of heritage from derived from the family-background (shenfen 身份) of any individual. My teaching will concentrate on the emotional side of the Cultural Revolution and make clear that more than other periods of the People’s Republic this was a time of extremes where society was divided into a Manichean split of light and dark, hero and enemy, Red Guard or Capitalist Roader.

Kurz vhodně doplňuje povinné kurzy Moderní dějiny Číny 1-2 a je doporučen všem studentům katedry asijských studií, katedry historie a katedry politologie a evropských studií a zájemcům o moderní dějiny.

Podmínkou splnění kurzu, který je ohodnocen 3 Kr, je aktivní účast na hodinách (docházka 75 %) a zapojení do diskuze a závěrečný písemný test z probrané látky (výběr z více možností). Kurz bude studentovi zapsán do STAGu dodatečně. Bližší informace podá: Jarmila Fiurášková, jarmila.fiuraskova(at)


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