Living the Socialist Modern

Dear Students, dear Colleagues, dear Friends!

2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. What did it mean to “live with the Specter”, to experience what one might call the making of the “Socialist Modern” that found a first point of culmination with the foundation of the CCP in 1921?

You are cordially invited to the digital lecture series Living the Socialist Modern: The Chinese Communist Party at 100—Global and Interdisciplinary Perspectives organized by the Center for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS) in Heidelberg, in cooperation with the ERC-funded research project READCHINA: The Politics of Reading in the People’s Republic of China in Freiburg and the European Institute for Chinese Studies (EURICS) in Paris.

In this digital lecture series we suggest unpacking the impact of this event on lives on the ground in a long century of Chinese and global history. Deliberately designed to offer alternative “histories” of the Chinese Communist Party, we will attempt to offer interdisciplinary views and experiences of the “Socialist Modern” and its many variants in a century now past, but also in the present and in the future, probing into different positions not only from Political Science and Party History, but also from Everyday History, Anthropology and Cultural Studies, Literary Studies and Sociology, Art History, and more. Each lecture will focus on a specific time slot, marked by ten-year steps in the century of history that we are looking back to: 1921, 1931, 1941, 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001, 2011, 2021… Lectures will begin on a particular date and branch out, back and forth, to the decades before and after to provide a long-term view of the situation at hand.

To receive the access link and updates on the program, please register here:

For abstracts and program details, visit our homepage:

The first lecture, with YEH Wen-hsin is on April 14th, 6pm! We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Barbara Mittler Peidong Sun (CATS Heidelberg), &Lena Henningsen (Freiburg University)

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