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Gail Hershatter: "Rural Women, Memory, and China’s Collective Past"
February 12, 2013 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm | Music Center Recital Hall
The 47th Annual Faculty Research Lecture will be given by Distinguished Professor of History, Gail Hershatter, on Tuesday February 12th, 2013 at 7pm at the Music Recital hall in the Performing Arts Complex. A reception in the lobby will immediately follow the lecture. Doors open at 6:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. Parking $4. Doors open at 6:30pm
What can we learn about the Chinese revolution by placing a doubly marginalized group—rural women—at the center of the inquiry? In this talk, Gail Hershatter explores changes in the lives of women in rural Shaanxi province during the early decades of state socialism, the 1950s and 1960s. She suggests that we think of gender not as a structure, but rather as a fractured, unpredictable, and expansive terrain. Beginning with the memories of a former child daughter-in-law turned village activist, she asks whether rural Chinese women had a revolution, and if so, when and what sort of revolution it was. Such questions encourage us to consider others that preoccupy historians: when is gender a useful category of historical analysis? How is the historical record shaped in interactions with the present moment? What counts as an event? Who gets to decide?