Posted on 2/26/2018 9:00 AM By Prasenjit Duara
Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University and will become Vice President of the AAS after the 2018 conference in Washington, D.C.
I developed my interest in China during the heady days of the Cultural Revolution’s ideological impact in Delhi. As college students in the early 1970s we engaged in heated debates about the path for development and equity in India. The long and short of it was that I determined to study the Chinese revolution in order to show that a peasant revolution of the Chinese sort could not happen in India.
I came to the U.S. to do my Ph.D., first at the University of Chicago and then moved with my advisor Philip Kuhn to Harvard, where I got my degree in Chinese history. While my thesis and first book did not directly address the issue of revolution comparatively, I did gain some insight into the nature of Chinese rural society under the Japanese occupation of the 1930s and 40s. The translation of Culture Power and the State: Rural North China ...