Nationalization is one of the most important epochal events in the history of twentieth-century China. Through the large-scale expropriation of factories, mines, and plants first from the Nationalists in the late 1940s and then from private businesspeople in the early 1950s, the Communist regime transformed the Chinese economy into full state ownership. More importantly, by eliminating capitalists and private business, nationalization laid the ideological foundation of the Communist rule, a legacy that continues to resonate in contemporary China. This talk shifts away from the conventional top-down narrative that portrays nationalization as a transformative political and economic campaign but instead explores its multifaceted ground-level processes and long-term social and legal consequences in the local society. Drawing on newly discovered family letters, factory archives, legal papers, and local government documents, this study provides an in-depth account of how a local iron factory and their private owners passed through the events of nationalization, re-investigation, and compensation between the 1950s and the 1980s. It shows that, despite the rapid takeover of the factory’s machinery and campus, the local cadres, with limited institutional, financial, and knowledge capacities, faced enormous challenges when attempting to destruct the invisible family business networks underlying the factory’s physical property. Not only a one-time political campaign, nationalization as a social reconfiguration effort also resulted in conflicts, negotiations, and compromises involving merchant families, factory cadres, and government officials, which lasted for several decades under Mao and Deng. This study thus reconsiders nationalization from the perspective of state capacity and analyzes its significance in defining China’s family relations, legal institutions, and state-society relations.
Events in UCIS
Thursday, January 23
Ana Forcinito is Professor of Latin American literatures and cultures and the holder of the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair in the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on gender studies and feminist theory, literary and visual practices anchored in the promotion of human rights and the reconstruction of memory in post-authoritarian regimes, with a primary focus on the Southern Cone.
She is the author of Memorias y nomadías: géneros y cuerpos en los márgenes del posfeminismo (2004), Los umbrales del testimonio: entre las narraciones de los sobrevivientes y las marcas de la posdictadura (2012), Oyeme con los ojos: Cine, mujeres, voces, visiones (2018) and Intermittences: Memory, Justice and the Poetics of the Visible (2018). She is currently working on a new book manuscript that explores Latin American/Latinx literary/visual narratives and feminist theories, with a primary focus on gender violence.
The Speaker is Safiya Umoja Noble, Associate Professor, Department of Information Studies and African American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
In her book, Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with monopoly status of a relatively small number of internet search engines, leads to biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color.
The lecture is co-organized by the Information Ecosystems Series (a Sawyer Seminar supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Co-Sponsors include the African Studies Program, The African American Program at the Senator John Heinz History Center, and the Pittsburgh Branch of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS).
Join professors and students from the Department of German and practice your language skills!
Mingle with fellow students who have a studied abroad in Australia! Students who have completed a program in Australia for any length of time are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.
Practice your Turkish language skills - all levels welcome!