The Saga of Anthropology in China: From Malinowski to Moscow to Mao

By Gregory Eliyu Guldin | Go to book overview

Focus 6:

Liang Zhaotao, Exile and
Rehabilitation

Anthropological Enemy of the People

In 1965, on the eve of the Cultural Revolution, the archaeology section of the History Department at Zhongshan University had developed to a modest size. In addition to Liang Zhaotao, by then an associate professor and the jiaoyanshi head, there were another lecturer, two teaching assistants, and three graduate students. This jiaoyanshi was one among many in a History Department with more than fifty faculty.

Then came the criticism of Hu Feng and the opening salvos in the Cultural Revolution. By early 1966, classes had stopped and everyone was enjoined to "Make Revolution!" Criticisms began, first of a select few, then more generally. Soon all the liberal arts disciplines were suspect; so many specialties were not really needed, only departments of politics. "Politics is everything." became the slogan permeating all activity. Even teachers and scholarship were unnecessary since students would teach themselves and scholars would do manual labor. Given proper political training, the students would do just fine.

By 1967, the pressures to criticize one's own thinking and that of one's colleagues had increased, and soon the same anarchy that had broken out elsewhere in the country descended on Zhongshan University as well. No new students were admitted to the university, and no job assignments were made. The only offices functioning regularly on campus for the three years between 1966

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