21 May 2013 5:00pm - 6:30pm SG1, Alison Richard Building


Humanitas Visiting Professor in Chinese Studies 2012-13

The Humanitas Chair in Chinese Studies has been made possible by the generous support of Sir David Tan.

Professor Chen Yung-fa

Chen Yung-fa  (Modern History Institute of the Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan) will give a series of three public lectures on The Meaning of the Chinese Communist Revolution and participate in a concluding symposium.

The first lecture is Maoist Rectification during Wartime.

Video available


During the civil war (1946-1949), Chiang Kaishek read the 22 rectification documents, including those written by Mao Zedong, that served as keynote speeches for the Communist campaigns aiming to reform Party cadres and make them conform to the ideal model of a Communist Party member.  Chiang found the documents so beneficial and exciting that he even intended to urge his cadres to study them. This essay shows the discrepancies between the 22 documents and the actual political campaigns the Communist Party undertook partly on the basis of those documents in Yanan in the 1940s.  The Communist campaigns that centered on the 22 documents are reexamined from three angles: the intraparty struggle among top leaders from 1940 to 1945; the intensifying cadre screening campaign among all cadres from 1941 to 1943; and the anti-traitor campaigns that aimed at uncovering those who were not supportive or not sufficiently supportive of the Party from 1943 to 1945.  Through the reconstitution of the Communist practice of the rectification campaigns, I argue that even if he intended to duplicate Mao’s rectification efforts, Chiang could not make any headway, because of the differences between himself and Mao, and the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party.  

Further events in this series 

About Chen Yung-fa

Since 2005 Chen Yung-fa has been a distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute of Modern History at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, and Professor of History at the National Taiwan University.  From 2001 to 2009 he was the Director of the Institute of Modern History.

His major publications include Making Revolution: The Communist Movement in Eastern and Central China, 1937-1945. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986, 690p; Yanan’s Shadow (延安的陰影 Yanande Yinying), Taipei: the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Monograph 60, 1990, 6, 354p;  Seventy Years of China’s Communist Revolution (中國共產革命七年:從革命奪權到告別革命 Zhongguo gongchan gemingqishinian: cong geming duoquan dao gaobie geming), Taipei: the Lianjing Press, 1st ed. 1998, 1014p. revised ed. 2001, 1146p; Pursuing Excellence: Eighty Years of the Academia Sinica, Vol. 1, (追求卓越: 中央研究院八十年》,卷一,任重道遠【全院篇】(Zhuiqiu Zhuoyue: Zhongyang yajiuyuan bashinian ) Taipei: Academia Sinica, 2008, 7, 333p.


About the Professorships

Humanitas is a series of Visiting Professorships at Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the Programme is managed and funded by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of a series of generous benefactors, and co-ordinated in Cambridge by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). Humanitas Visiting Professors are held by distinguished academics and leading practitioners who have contributed to interdisciplinary research and innovation in a broad range of contemporary disciplines in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Covering areas of urgent or enduring interest in today's society as well as the performing arts, Humanitas Visiting Professors will present their pioneering work through a series of lectures or performances open to University audiences and the wider public.


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