China Research Workshop 中国研究讲座 Lunch Discussion RSVP
Friday, February 21, 2020 | 12:00-1:30 p.m. | GPS Dean's Conference Room

Remaking the Future in Socialist China: The Campaign Against Fortune Telling

Presenter: Emily Baum, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese History, University of California, Irvine

Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, the Chinese Communist Party strove to eradicate “superstitious” thoughts and practices, among which fortune telling figured prominently. By demonstrating that the only way to influence the present and future was through physical engagement with the material environment, the CCP sought to undermine the view that a person’s fortunes could be manipulated by spiritual intermediaries. This talk will examine the campaign to suppress fortune telling in the early PRC, and will argue that the ultimate goal of the movement was to replace individual metaphysics with a Party-sanctioned materialism – one that bound the wellbeing of the individual to the collective prosperity of the nation.


CRW provides a forum for the presentation of original research by China scholars from around the country in social science and humanities, sponsored by the Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China. To view archive and upcoming workshops list, visit:
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