Yiching Wu

Associate Professor, Asian Institute
Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Studies
Room 104N

Trinity College
1 Devonshire Place 
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3K7 Canada

Yiching Wu stands in front of a bookshelf in the Munk School library


Main Bio

Yiching Wu teaches East Asian Studies, modern Chinese history, and anthropology at the University of Toronto. An anthropologist trained at the University of Chicago, his research focuses on the history, society, and politics of Mao’s China, in particular during the Cultural Revolution. His main scholarly interests include historical anthropology, critical social theory, populism and social protest, modern Chinese history, Chinese socialism and post-socialism, and politics of historical knowledge. He is currently working on two book-length projects about China’s late 1960s, on the demobilization of Cultural Revolution mass politics and the contradictory role of Mao during the Cultural Revolution, respectively.

Select publications

  • The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis (Harvard University Press, forthcoming 2014). Winner of the 2013 President’s Book Award, the Social Science History Association.
  • “Coping with Crisis in the Wake of the Cultural Revolution: Toward a Historical Critique of Chinese Postsocialism,” Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, 21 (4), 2013. Forthcoming.
  • “The Great Retreat and Its Discontents: Reexamining the Shengwulian Episode in the Cultural Revolution,” The China Journal, no. 71, 2014. Forthcoming.
  • “How State Enumeration Spoiled Mao’s ‘Last Revolution,’” Journal of Modern Chinese History 7, no. 2 (2013), 1-18.
  • “‘Revolution’ and ‘Restoration’ in Contemporary China: A Genealogical Inquiry,” in Xueping Zhong, et al., ed., Culture and Social Transformations: Theoretical Framework and Chinese Context (Brill, 2013), 293-314.
  • “Chinese Socialism and Market Transition: A Critique,” in China and Socialism: Criticisms and Commentaries, Du Jiping, ed. (Taipei: Renjian chubanshe, 2006), 178-201 (in Chinese).
  • “Rethinking ‘Capitalist Restoration’ in China,” Monthly Review, 57 (6): 44-63, 2005 (translated into Danish, Bengali, Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese).
  • “Prelude to Culture: Interrogating Colonial Rule in Early British Hong Kong,” Dialectical Anthropology, 24 (1999):141-170.