Revolutionary Routine: Grassroots Sources on Work, Family, and Private Life in Maoist China


Henry Luce Foundation/ ACLS Program in China Studies Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants




Columbia University


This workshop brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to undertake intensive reading and discussion of selected 'grassroots sources' from the Fudan Social Life Data and Research Center. Through systematic readings of family letters, personnel dossiers, private diaries, work notes, and work unit archives, we explore questions of how the routines of political Maoism were enacted, mediated, and performed in everyday contexts as social routine. Our workshop engages this rich new stream of historical sources to draw attention to the rituals of Maoism as ordinary affairs, focusing on the banal settings of socialist life—the workplace, the school, and the family—as dynamic sites of structure and ideology.