This keynote is part of our three-day conference, Narrating Cold Wars. For the full schedule and registration details, please click below.

Keynote: China at the Dawn of the Cold War: Between Class War and the New Internationalism – Rana Mitter

In 1945, as the Second World War ended and the Cold War began, China was caught in a paradox. China was part of the great wave of Asian decolonization, and taking new initiatives in areas from rural development to global diplomacy. Yet it was also being violently divided by different visions of what the “good society” would be. This lecture examines the contradictions of a Cold War narrative with implications for other countries: between a China seeking to shape the new post-1945 world, and one being torn apart by it.

Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, and a Fellow of St Cross College at the University of Oxford. He is the author of several books, including China’s War with Japan: The Struggle for Survival, 1937-1945 (Penguin, 2013), [US title: Forgotten Ally] which won the 2014 RUSI/Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature, and was named a Book of the Year in the Financial Times and Economist. His latest book is China’s Good War: How World War II is Shaping a New Nationalism (Harvard, 2020). He won the 2020 Medlicott Medal for Service to History, awarded by the Historical Association, is a Fellow of the British Academy, and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Chaired by Klaus Mühlhahn, Zeppelin University