Book Talk: The Emergence of Global Maoism

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

How did Maoism go global? This book talk for The Emergence of Global Maoism: China's Red Evangelism and the Cambodian Communist Movement, 1949-1979 (Cornell University Press, 2022) explores the link between the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to globalize Maoism and the dialectical engagement of exported Maoism by intellectuals who became Maoists in Cambodia. It expands upon Edward Said's concept of "Traveling Theory," which identifies conditions of production, transmission, and reception, to explain how Maoism emerged in Cambodian intellectual circles. The book talk examines the intellectual journey of one of its Maoist intellectuals under analysis, Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) Minister of Information Hu Nim (aka. Comrade Phoas). During his studies in Paris in the 1950s and after trips to China in the 1960s, Hu founded the Khmer-Chinese Friendship Association (Samāgam Mittphāp Khmer-Chin) and served the Maoist CPK until his execution at Tuol Sleng (S-21). The book talk emphasizes Hu's story as one of becoming in which the central roles of community and network pushed him towards radicalization. It also charts the course of Maoisms, global and local, by making broader sense of Hu Nim's life and by referring to organizations in which he participated actively.

About the Speaker

Dr. Matthew Galway is a Lecturer of Chinese History at the Australian National University. His research focuses on the globalization of Maoism, intellectual history, radical overseas Chinese networks. His second book, Experiments with Marxism-Leninism in Cold War Southeast Asia, is forthcoming with ANU Press. He is a contributor to Made in China Journal (2021-2022), Afterlives of Chinese Communism (ANU Press, 2019) and Translating the Japanese Occupation of China (UBC Press, 2020), and has published his research in The Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, China Information, Asian Ethnicity, and Left History.

The ANU China Seminar Series is supported by the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University's College of Asia & the Pacific.