Delta on the Move Lecture Series (Dec 15): Cathryn H. Clayton - The 123 Incident: Macau, the Cultural Revolution, and the 1960s World

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Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Delta on the Move Lecture Series
The 123 Incident: Macau, the Cultural Revolution, and the 1960s World

Dr. Cathryn H. Clayton
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Date/Time: December 15, 2022 (Thursday)/10:00 am HKT
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Macau's 123 Incident in 1966-67 is best known as a side-show to the Cultural Revolution, a piece of local history whose main significance is as a precursor to the far more violent Hong Kong "disturbances" six months later. In this paper, I argue that a bigger story is needed. Based on decades of oral history and archival research in collaboration with Dr. Agnes Lam of the University of Macau, this project argues that the 123 Incident cannot be understood without reference to Macau’s position at the intersection of multiple contradictory but overlapping global projects in the post-war world. Adopting a multi-scalar framework, I examine how particular combinations of institutions and individuals, interests and ideologies, understandings and misunderstandings—local, regional, national and transnational—came together in the 123 Incident to produce an effect that was at once intensely local and profoundly global. Such an approach can provide new perspectives not just on the 123 Incident, but also on the Cultural Revolution as a global event. 

About the Speaker
Cathryn H. Clayton is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her first book, Sovereignty at the Edge: Macau and the Question of Chineseness, won the Francis L.K. Hsu prize for best new book on East Asia from the Society for East Asian Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association.

This is an event organized by the “Delta on the Move: The Becoming of the Greater Bay Region, 1700 – 2000” Research Cluster.

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