“Sourcing the Grassroots: New Methods and Unconventional Sources in PRC History”
Liu Shigu, Postdoctoral Fellow, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Xu Zhigao, Independent Scholar
Morning Session: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Afternoon Session: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
International Affairs Building, Room 918
Registration required for afternoon session only.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Sourcing the Grassroots” is a workshop that seeks to familiarize researchers with local and unconventional and sources that reveal Maoist society at the margins. The impetus for the workshop follows the work of recent PRC scholars such as Jeremy Brown, Michael Schoenhals, Yang Kuisong and others, who have turned to “grassroots sources” (also known as 垃圾资料) as a complementary archive. These sources have enabled a recent historiographical shift away from state-centered narratives in favor of new approaches to issues such as social classification, petty crime, local religion, and medical practices from the vantage point of everyday life. As you are all no doubt aware, restrictions on historical research in Chinese archives have continued to tighten over the past few years, and I would suggest that use of grassroots sources has already become a commonplace if not necessary aspect of work in our field.
For the March 3rd workshop, we have invited two experts from overseas and divided the event into two sessions. For the morning session (10:00 AM – 11:45 AM), we will hold a panel discussion on unconventional sources featuring two short talks by Liu Shigu, a postdoctoral researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Xu Zhigao, a independent scholar. Professor Liu is a veteran of Shanghai Jiaotong University’s County Archives Collection Project and has deep knowledge of working in Chinese archives. Mr. Xu maintains a large private collection of historical materials and has utilized those sources to produce a multi-volume history of the Cultural Revolution.
In the afternoon session to follow (4:00 PM-5:45 PM), Professor Liu will lead a small hands-on workshop in which we will closely examine several examples of grassroots sources drawn from Professor Liu’s own research and findings. We will seek to tailor the content of the example documents to participant interests, so please feel free to indicate your research areas with your RSVP.
Both the morning panel discussion and the afternoon workshop will primarily be in Chinese, though some portions will be bilingual. The morning session is completely open to the public, but for the afternoon session, an RSVP to email@example.com is kindly requested by February 24.