The 83rd George E. Morrison Lecture in Ethnology
A Kite Flies Against the Wind: Internationalism, identity, and ideology in the shaping of postwar China, and the legacy for today
The post-World War II period saw China debate many issues that still have immense importance for understanding the China of today. China moved into a new phase of internationalization, becoming embroiled in global debates about the links between economic and social development.
Ideological concerns about democracy, constitutionalism, and the implications of a powerful new political force emerging in the countryside, were also to the forefront. Meanwhile, new ideas about the interaction of gender and class fuelled debates over identity.
Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the emergence of nationalism in modern China, both in the early twentieth century and in the present era. He is the author of several books, including Modern China: A Very Short Introduction (2008, new ed. 2016); A Bitter Revolution: China's Struggle with the Modern World (2004); the award-winning China's War with Japan, 1937-45: The Struggle for Survival; and China's Good War: How World War II is Shaping a New Nationalism (2020). In 2023 he will take up the ST Lee Chair in US-China Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School.