Temple of Memories History, Power, and Morality in a Chinese Village
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Description: This study focuses on the politics of memory in the village of Dachuan in northwest China, in which 85 percent of the villagers are surnamed Kong and believe themselves to be descendants of Confucius. It recounts both how this proud community was subjected to intense suffering during the Maoist era, culminating in its forcible resettlement in December 1960 to make way for the construction of a major hydroelectric dam, and how the village eventually sought recovery through the commemoration of that suffering and the revival of a redefined religion. Before 1949, the Kongs had dominated their area because of their political influence, wealth, and, above all, their identification with Confucius, whose precepts underlay so much of the Chinese ethical and political tradition. After the Communists came to power in 1949, these people, as a literal embodiment of the Confucian heritage, became prime targets for Maoist political campaigns attacking the traditional order, from land reform to the “Criticize Confucius” movement. Many villagers were arrested, three were beheaded, and others died in labor camps. When the villagers were forced to hastily abandon their homes and the village temple, they had time to disinter only the bones of their closest family members; the tombs of earlier generations were destroyed by construction workers for the dam.
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List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 10/1/1998
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Antonio Negri is an independent researcher and writer. He has been a Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Paris and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Padua.Sebastian Heilmann is Professor of Comparative Government and the Political Economy of China at the University of Trier.Elizabeth J. Perry is Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government at Harvard University and Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute.
|Introduction: A Study of Social Memory|
|Memory of Historical Possibilities|
|Memory of Revolutionary Terror|
|Memory of Communal Trauma|
|Memory of Local Animosity|
|Memory of Ritual Language|
|Memory of Genealogical Retainers|
|Memory of Cultural Symbols|
|Finding Memories in Gansu|