On 7 February 1923 the warlord Wu Peifu ordered a violent crackdown against unarmed workers striking on the Beijing-Hankou Railway. The surprise assault resulted in thirty-nine deaths, representing the first mass violence against the nascent Chinese Communist Party. Those killed during the strike and the executions that followed came to be remembered as “martyrs” to the cause of labor and the party, a status solidifed soon after through protests and commemorations that involved an unprecedented level of worker involvement. After 1949, the historical memory of these martyrs served to legitimate the new party-state through trials, popular history, and the performing arts. In recent decades the commemoration of these martyrs has continued to take new forms whose outcome has remained uncertain as the party and its proletariat navigate a capitalist era guided by socialist-era symbolism. This paper aims to explore the way Shi Yang, Lin Xiangqian, and others those killed in February 1923 were inscribed with allegorical significance through an emerging meme of red martyrdom.
|Advisor:||McCord, Edward A.|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||History, Asian Studies|
|Keywords:||China, Communist, Historical memory, Martyr, Martyrdom, Proletarian, Worker|
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