Social Media of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1968-1978: Communicating Melancholy and Hope after the Political Storm

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 4:00pm
Linderman Library, Room 200
Guobin Yang
Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication & Sociology
Annenberg School for Communication & Department of Sociology
University of Pennsylvania
The Red Guard Generation in China fell from grace when Mao put an end to the Red Guard movement in 1968 and sent youth of the generation away from cities to become peasants in rural areas. Based on the book The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China (2016), this talk argues that youth managed a deep identity crisis by turning private media such as letters and banned books into a means of personal expression and social connection. This history has far-reaching implications for understanding media, community, and solidarity in times of dejection.
Guobin Yang is the Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication and Sociology at the Annenberg School for Communication and Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also a faculty in the Graduate Group of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. He is the author of The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China (2016) and The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (2009). His Dragon-Carving and the Literary Mind (2003) is an annotated English translation of the 6th-century Chinese classic of rhetoric and literary theory Wenxin Diaolong.
Co-sponsor: Visiting Lecturers Committee