FCC club lunch with Dr. ZHOU Xun
Speaker: Dr. ZHOU Xun
Assistant Research Professor
School of Humanities, University of Hong Kong
Topic: The hidden story of the Great Famine in China under MAO
The history of the Great Famine in China (1958 – 1962) under MAO has long been obscured by official taboos and restricted access to primary sources. Between 2006 and 2010, Dr. ZHOU Xun travelled across China to interview Famine survivors and collect over 1,000 documents from various party archives. In this talk, she will reveal the hidden story behind one of the worst catastrophes in twentieth-century history, of how the Communist Party knew the extent of starvation and suffering amongst the people, but yet chose to ignore the problems and carried on with the Great Leap Forward.
Her new book, The Great Famine in China, 1958 – 1962: A Documentary History (Yale University Press, 2012), is the only publication available that contains the most crucial primary documents concerning the Great Famine and the fate of the Chinese peasantry then – from collectivization and survival strategies like cannibalism all the way to selective killing and mass murder.
Dr. ZHOU has authored or co-authored a number of publications including Youtai: Chinese Perceptions of Jews and Judaism (2001), Narcotic Culture: A History of Drug Consumption in China (2004) and Smoke: A Global History of Smoking (2004). She is one of only a handful of historians who are capturing the history of the People’s Republic of China through the use of new oral and archival evidence.