New Faculty: Peidong Sun

Peidong Sun

Associate Professor, History

Academic focus:
Social and cultural history of the post-1949 period in China, such as fashion politics, underground reading, mate choice, and mentalities of the Chinese Communist Party.

Current research project:
I am currently writing a book, tentatively titled “Underground Epistemologies: How the Cultural Revolution Shaped the Xi Jinping Generation.” By re-interpreting how the Xi generation produced, used, translated, and passed on knowledge in specific socio-cultural contexts during the Sent-down Movement, my analysis will unpack the untold story of the interactions between the epistemological practices of that generation and policy-making in China, and its consequences and implications globally. I argue that the epistemological strategies—reading practices, acquisition of revolutionary ideology, and development of a belief system—utilized by Xi’s generation during the Cultural Revolution continues to play a critical role in China’s political regime and will continue to impede democracy from developing in China.

Previous positions:

  • Digital Visiting Professor, Institute of Sinology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany, Apr.-Dec. 2021
  • Resident Fellow, European Institute for Chinese Studies, Paris, France, Feb. 2021-Jun. 2021.
  • Visiting Professor, Center for International Studies, Paris Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France, Feb. 2020- Feb 2021
  • Associate Professor of History, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 2013-2020
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology, East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, China, 2010-2013
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China, 2007-2010

Academic background:

  • Ph.D., Sociology, Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), 2007
  • Ph.D., Law, Sun Yat-Sen University, 2007
  • M.A., French literature, Sun Yat-Sen University, 2002
  • B.A., French, Sun Yat-Sen University, 1999

Last book read:
“The Chinese Communist Party: A Century in Ten Lives” edited by Timothy Cheek, Klaus Mühlhahn and Hans van de Ven

In your own time/when not working:
Listening to music, hiking and cooking

Courses you’re most looking forward to teaching:
Life and death in China under Mao; Fashion and Politics in the 20th Century China; Living the CCP: Ten Life Stories in One Century (1921-2021); and Global Maoism: Past and Present

What most excites you about Cornell:
Brilliant & friendly colleagues, talented students and enchanting scenery

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		Peidong Sun