Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Lucas Xie L&S Arts & Humanities

Philosophical Maoism: Theory and Practice

Contemporary Maoism studies reside at a compromising juncture: canonized, depoliticized forms underpinned Chinese academia, and overly cultural-historical scholarships from without, tacitly dismissed Mao’s critical kernel and its normative relevance to our days. Between this in- and out-side, emerges an epistemic gap, a parallax, from which a theoretical vacuum can be excavated, reinvented, creatively recontextualized, namely Mao’s thought as critical speculation, intervention and engagement with philosophy. This project aims at providing a horizon – and inquiring its very conceivability – whereby this gap appears as potential sites of genesis to various terrains of knowledge production, staging Mao as a new body of space for critical theorization.

My project confronts Mao with philosophy – figures such as Althusser, Benjamin, Nietzsche, along with their theoretical and political lineages. It aims at developing a set of vocabularies generative to understand Maoism and our present, with hope that insights from critical theory and beyond naturally ensue, contributive to epistemic modalities and ways of becoming of the increasingly complex, precarious, contradicted world we inhabit.

Message To Sponsor

Philosophy begins with wonder: any serious projects can be carried out only by not caring about it's external ends - even Marx had Engels as his biggest donor who financially supported him for decades, so that he can write without restrains. Funding in a capitalist world thereof is not just a word of encouragement but a necessary and constitutive part of what is yet to come into fruition. Thank you for your support.
Major: Rhetoric and Mathematics
Mentor: James Porter
Sponsor: Anselm A&H Fund
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