Historian Gail Hershatter will deliver this year's Ena H. Thompson lectures on Tuesday, March 5, and Thursday, March 7, both at 11 a.m. at Pomona College (Rose Hills Theatre, Smith Campus Center, 170 E. Sixth St., Claremont).
The subject of the March 5 talk is "The Girl Who Burned the Banknotes, or Why Our Stories About the Chinese Revolution Are Not Good Enough." Hershatter will focus on one young rural woman and examine the most common stories that scholars and other observers have told about gender and social change in the Chinese revolution. She will discuss how these stories might be made richer and more complicated.
The March 7 lecture, "Rattling the House that Gender Studies Built: Some Thoughts from Rural China," will draw examples from research in rural northwest China, exploring what feminist scholars have learned about gender as the field of women's studies has developed, and what other angles should be considered.
Hershatter, distinguished professor and chair of UC Santa Cruz's Department of History, is the author of The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China's Collective Past (2011) and Women in China's Long Twentieth Century (2007). Among her fellowships and prizes, she has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and Stanford University's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences fellowship, both in 2007. In 1997, the American Historical Association awarded her the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women's History. She is the past president of the Association for Asian Studies.
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These lectures are sponsored by the Pomona College History Department and the Ena H. Thompson Endowment. Thompson endowed these annual lectures in 1980 to encourage a broader understanding and appreciation of history. The visiting lecturers are elected both on the basis of their past contributions to the discipline and of the importance of their current research in advancing the field. Generally offered in the spring semester, the lectureship brings a distinguished historian to the Pomona College campus for a week of intensive interaction with students, faculty, and alumni.