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Faculty Cafe ~ Grace Huang, Government

9/29/17 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Sykes Common Room

Chiang Kai-shek’s Politics of Shame

Grace Huang, Government
Friday, September 29th
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Sykes Common Room

Studies of political leaders fall into familiar grooves. Those that focus on biography tend to emphasize the ways in which leaders shape the world around them whereas those that focus on history tend to highlight the grand structural forces that constrain leaders’ actions. Neither approach is satisfactory in gaining a faithful depiction of leaders’ creative efforts. This talk offers a new approach to the study of leadership by focusing on an alternative source of authority that derives from the leader drawing on cultural resources to justify a course of action. I use Chiang Kai-shek, who is perhaps best known for losing China to Mao Zedong, as my case study to refine our understanding of leadership.  I show how he used the Confucian cultural resource of shame to confront Japanese imperial aggression, unite China in prewar and wartime China, and in the process, contribute to the Chinese national story and identity.

These Friday events provide an opportunity to celebrate faculty members’ ongoing research and scholarly accomplishments. They provide time to relax at the end of the work week, catch up with old friends, and meet new people from across campus as you enjoy wine, beer, other drinks, and snacks. The Cafés and Book Publication Celebrations are a place for faculty to share their scholarly projects, in language accessible to the broad campus community, in the hopes that it will inspire lively discussion, helpful feedback and criticism, and possibly interest in future collaborations across disciplines. All faculty and staff are welcome at these events, and we encourage you to make them a regular part of your schedule. The Faculty Development Committee and the Academic Dean’s Office plan the Cafés and Book Celebrations, and the Center for Teaching and Learning and Corporate and Foundations Relations provide financial support.