[Marxism] Fwd: 'Neo-Maoist' higher ed is gaining ground in China

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 30 03:11:11 MDT 2016


As someone who has taught at a tertiary Institution in China (admittedly a
provincial and not very prestigious one!) I find  this extremely
interesting.  I was in China for all of 1990.  The climate was marked by
post Tienanmen Square tension, and the prestige of the Communist Party and
Marxist ideas  was very low indeed.  There was also a very dominant
rejection of Maoist type aesthetics among the students.  Both staff and
students placed emphasis on the formal features of poetry such as meter and
rhyme. These are of course the features that most people find boring or
uninteresting.  But my students had had enough of social content and
context. So my lectures on the sociology of poetry were regarded as a great
disappointment.

I did though score heavily with my rendering of Blake's Tyger. when asked
to do a guest lecture on a course on English poetry.  I had been told that
Ginsberg had a triumph with his reading of this in his visit to Beijing. He
did not understand though the source of the triumph and in his following
lectures he brought up the subject of homosexuality and even I was told
drew diagrams.  His audience were suitably shocked.  My informant who had
been there did not elaborate on the content of the drawings and I was
afraid to inquire.

In any case I did what I thought was an imitation of Ginsberg reading
Tyger, Tyger. I have since had the occasion to listen to a tape of Ginsberg
reading Blake and I doubt very much if there was any similarity at all
between our renderings of the great poem. But we take our triumphs where we
find them and my version of the poem did to some extent make up for the
abysmal flop of my lecture series.

comradely

Gary

On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 10:03 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> “Over the past decade or so, there’s been a push on the part of the
> Chinese Communist Party to retell its origin story, its founding myths,”
> Blanchette says.
>
> One plank of this plan has been an effort to revive the study of Marxism,
> partly to counter the spread of liberal and religious thought. Last year,
> Peking University began the construction of a new building to house its
> Marxism department -- ironically funded by a bank.
>
> full:
> https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/04/29/neo-maoist-higher-ed-gaining-ground-china
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