China Seminar | 8 January 2009

China’s Anti-Rightist Movement Fifty Years Later

Daniel W. Y. Kwok Daniel W. Y. Kwok

Professor Kwok explores the historical significance of an unrequited event in China’s recent history, the Anti-Rightist Movement of the 1950s which affected an estimated 550,000 lives. As a historian, Kwok is particularly appreciative of the oft-quoted statement of the writer Zhang Kangkang: “There is no tomorrow for a people who cannot use the present to reexamine the past.”

The founding convener of the China Seminar, Kwok is professor emeritus of history at the University of Hawaii, where he has taught Chinese history and world civilizations. He has served in numerous posts, including chair of Asian Studies, chair of the Department of History, and director of the Center for Chinese Studies. He also founded and directed the university’s Asia Fellowships Program for Journalists. Among his publications are: Scientism in Chinese Thought, 1900-1950 (1965, 1971); Cosmology, Ontology, and Human Efficacy: Essays in Chinese Thought (with Richard J. Smith, 1993); his translation and editing of Yan Jiaqi and Gao Gao’s Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution (1996); The Urbane Imagination: Ideas of Civilization in the Chinese Garden (1997); and Vegetable Roots Discourse (with Robert Aitken, 2006).