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Three Pillars of Chinese Culture: Architecture, Film, and Ideology

Cultural Reform under Mao

Evening Course

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0302C
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Chinese peasants gathered in Hungching region, collectively reading from the ”Little Red Book", May 1969

Chinese culture has a rich history going back thousands of years. This lecture series examines one of the enduring and most resilient hallmarks of Chinese culture—its architecture—before seeing how the modern era was represented in silent films of the early 20th century. Moving into the second half of the 20th century, the series delves into the sweeping cultural changes enacted under the new political ideology of communism.

Justin M. Jacobs, a professor of Chinese history at American University, is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures.

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Cultural Reform under Mao

Traditional Chinese culture stretches back more than 3,000 years, but it underwent a host of fundamental reforms during the early decades of the Communist era. Jacobs examines the sweeping and ambitious changes enacted in the realms of gender, language, education, and architecture during the Mao years (1949–1976), highlighting the ways in which Chinese society on the mainland began to diverge in significant ways from other Chinese communities around the world.

Additional Sessions of Three Pillars of Chinese Culture Series

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