Michael SchoenhalsProfessor

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Specific Languages
  • History

Research

For many years, I worked primarily (and published regularly) on the twin topics of the language of contemporary Chinese politics and history of the Cultural Revolution. Eventually, my language-oriented research morphed into something akin to a general analytical approach or “tool box” and ceased to be in itself a subject of further reading and writing. Today, “doing things with words” just makes up an important component of what I teach my advanced students of Chinese politics. The history of the Cultural Revolution ended up on my proverbial back burner in 2008 (and has remained there ever since), once I had published “The Global War on Terrorism as Meta-Narrative: An Alternative Reading of Recent Chinese History” and “‘Did anyone here recognize that?’ – On Torture Today,” two texts in equal measure concerned with the troubled present of “the West” and China’s painful past. Since the mid noughties, the subject that has held my attention has been the domestic use of agents by Public Security organs in Mao’s China. It constitutes an all but completely “blank” space in Chinese as well as foreign acdemic research on the social history of the PRC, but one that now after more than half a century can finally be probed and explored by anyone with the necessary scholarly skills. For the next couple of years, I intend to devote myself to it and to build on the work that has already gone into my book Spying For the People, published by CUP at the very end of 2012.

Highlighted research outputs

Michael Schoenhals 2012 Cambridge University Press.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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