Hwei-Chih and Julia Hsiu Chair in Chinese Studies and Professor of History, UC San Diego
“The Mao Badge Fad: How a State-Sponsored Consumer Fad undermined a Revolution”
Thursday, October 5th, 4:00-6:00 PM
John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]
Discussant: Jake Werner, Collegiate Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop in welcoming Karl Gerth [University of California, San Diego] as he presents a part of his new manuscript focused on Consumption in Maoist-era China. Titled “The Mao Badge Fad: How a State-Sponsored Consumer Fad undermined a Revolution,” Professor Gerth provides the following abstract for his paper:
This paper reinterprets one of the most famous phenomena of the Cultural Revolution, the Mao badge fad, when tens of millions of Chinese collected billions of badges of Chairman Mao. The Cultural Revolution was intended to be the single greatest anti-bourgeois campaign of the Mao era. But in its most famous activities such as badge collecting, the Cultural Revolution also nourished a thriving bourgeois consumer culture that encouraged consumer desire, production outside of state planning, and inequality though unequal distribution and conspicuous consumption. Badge collecting was, to use Mao’s expression, the negation rather than the fulfillment of the Socialist Revolution.
Professor Gerth’s paper can be found at this post.
As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. This event is sponsored by the Committee for Chinese Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies.
If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Spencer Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or Robert Burgos at email@example.com