Since the food shortages caused by the 1958 Great Leap Backward were such a major trauma for the people we meet during fieldwork, I’ve just added a tag in the sidebar for famine. See also the Maoism tag.
Indeed, this was no mere “three years of difficulty”: food shortages began even before the Leap, and continued throughout the Cultural Revolution right until the collapse of the commune system in the late 1970s.
Among the main articles are:
- Cultural Revolutions
- Ukraine and China (both these posts list some of the main sources; and for more on Ukraine, see under Life behind the Iron Curtain: a roundup)
- The Kazakh famine
- Guo Yuhua‘s distressing ethnography of a Shaanbei village
- China: commemorating trauma
- The temple of memories
- Clues from Hunan
The famine also features in many of the pages under Local ritual; it’s a theme of my work on Gaoluo (see e.g. A tribute to two local ritual leaders) and the Li family Daoists. Indeed, while there are many fine studies dedicated to the subject, it should be a recurring theme in coverage of local society, expressive culture, and people’s lives.