The 1957-1958 Anti-Rightist Campaign in China: History and Memory (1978-2014)

Vidal, Christine. The 1957-1958 Anti-Rightist Campaign in China: History and Memory (1978-2014). CCJ Occasional Papers, 2016, 4. URL :


The end of the Mao Era was accompanied neither by a full and complete rehabilitation of the victims of the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957, nor by a true historiographical revolution. Thus, the ” return ” of history’s ” forgotten ones ” first occurred through literature and investigative journalism, which was the main relay for the memory of the victims in the 1980s, before testimony emerged in the following decade. Since then, however, the ” historian’s territory ” has expanded. This article places the questions about the relationship between history and memory within the specific context of the People’s Republic of China, where the Party in power claims the right to a monopoly over the interpretation of the past, in order to show how a plural memory is being constructed today, and how a history which ” works ” with this memory is being written.


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