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Everett Zhang: Monumental Detachment: Re-ritualizing Mourning between Two Earthquakes in China
WhenThursday, Feb. 15, 2018, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Campus locationThomson Hall (THO)
Campus room317
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsChina Studies…

Cara Brennan…

Why was there a resurgence of mourning for the victims of the Tangshan Earthquake several decades after the quake? This presentation explores the phenomena of “tears for Mao,” the lack of mourning rituals, and the building of the official anti-earthquake monument in Tangshan to show how the state’s attempt to monopolize the space of mourning with the unified symbolism has failed. Feeling detached from the official monument that was intended to dissolve grief into celebrating the victory over the disaster, mourners engaged in folk religious ritual of burning “paper money” to connect with the dead and cope with trauma, and refashioned the revived mode of mourning into the remaking of the relationship with the state which was forced to match public mourning with deep grief.

Everett Zhang received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and did postdoctoral studies at Harvard. He is author of The Impotence Epidemic: Men’s Medicine and Sexual Desire in Contemporary China and co-editor of Governance of Life in Chinese Moral Experience. He taught at State University of New York at Buffalo and Princeton University. He is currently a Visitor at Institute for Advanced Study.

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