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"Legacies of the Sent-down Youth Movement in Contemporary China" Conference

April 28, 2014 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge


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This conference explores the contemporary legacies of the sent-down youth movement that accompanied the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-76), during which approximately 15 million urban youth were sent to live in rural villages and state farms for up to ten years. This is a timely moment for such a workshop, as an increasing number of scholars in China are engaged in research on this subject, a result of the cottage industry of individual memoirs, collections of letters, diaries, and archival materials that have been published.

Although all of the conference participants have conducted research on historical aspects of the movement, they share a concern with the legacies of that movement for contemporary China: the large percentage of the current political leadership (including President Xi Jinping) that were sent-down youth; the implications of economic relationships established in the context of the sent-down youth movement for contemporary economic development; and social issues facing the post-sent-down youth generation. Participants from China and the U.S. include historians, sociologists, and political scientists.

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9:00-9:15 AM – Opening Remarks

Emily Honig, Department of History, UC Santa Cruz

9:15 AM – 12:15 PM – Panel One

Chair: Benjamin Read, Department of Politics, UCSC

Sun Peidong (Department of History, Fudan University)
“Who will marry my daughter? Shanghai Parental Matchmaking Corner and the Zhiqing generation”

Xie Chunhe (Center for Research on Sent-down Youth, Heihe College, Heilongjiang)
“The Quest for Social Identity of Sent-down Youth in the Post-Cultural Revolution Era”

Emily Honig (Department of History, UCSC) and Xiaojian Zhao (Department of Asian American Studies, UCSB)
“Calling the Phoenix Back to its Nest: Economic Legacies of Sent-down Youth in Contemporary China”

Discussant: Kevin O’Brien, Department of Politics, University of California, Berkeley

12:15-2:00 PM – Lunch break

2:00-5:00 PM – Panel Two

Chair: Christopher Connery, Department of Literature, UCSC

Tan Shen (Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
“Remembering the Past in the Post Sent-down Youth Era”

Jin Guangyao (Department of History, Fudan University)
“Former Sent-down Youth in Post-Cultural Revolution China: Literature and Scholarship”

Lin Shengbao (Department of History, Fudan University)
“An Analysis of Sent-down Youth Oral Histories”

Discussant: Thomas Gold, Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley


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UC Fudan Conference

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Fudan-UC Center

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April 28, 2014
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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