Lisa Rofel

in Other Modernities

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780520210783
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520919860 | DOI:

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This chapter addresses the quality of historical memory in relation to the Cultural Revolution, focusing on one woman's life in contemporary China. Her story helps to break through a certain theoretical as well as lived silence about memory in its relation to the quotidian, to capture how memories of violence exist just under the surface of the everyday. While acknowledging the hegemony of state representations in China, and the power of narrative form to create history, one should turn an analytic gaze to perhaps a more marginal, yet nonetheless critical, arena of history and memory for which we have not yet found adequate language: how memories of violence persist in the silence of apparently untroubled lives, to be blurted out in odd moments, and then to disappear again, seemingly without a ripple.

Keywords: China; Cultural Revolution; historical memory; violence

Chapter.  2761 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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