Cornell University

Patterns for the People in Communist China

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Virtual Event

The Cornell Contemporary China Initiative (CCCI) of the East Asia Program welcomes Antonia Finnane (History, University of Melbourne) as part of our semester-long theme of Fashion and Politics in Twentieth-Century China  with faculty host, Peidong Sun (History, Cornell)

Some of the questions that guest speakers will investigate include: How do we define politics from the dimension of fashion? What was a politicized fashion? How did fashion reflect the power structure? How did fashion become a way of obedience and resistance? And how do we define and interpret the human condition in China under Mao's rule (1949-1976)? What was human resilience in the face of absolute power? 

Antonia Finnane's talk is titled, "Patterns for the People in Communist China."

When the People’s Republic of China was founded, new clothing protocols for state employees resulted in a general change in everyday dress. This was consistent with historical precedent: when the dynasty changed, the clothing was altered. But who made the new clothes and how were they made? Clothing in this period is often discussed in terms such as variety, agency, and consumption, contradicting assumptions of general conformity under communism; yet if we look at how clothes were made, we can see how conformity was instilled.

The CCCI lecture series aims to expose the broad campus community to issues and scholarship of contemporary China.  

We thank our co-sponsors:

Asian American Pacific Studies Program | Asian Studies | College of Human Ecology | Cornell Society for the Humanities | Feminist, Gender & Sexuality StudiesDepartment of History | Department of International & Comparative Labor Relations | Department of History | The Levinson China & Asia-Pacific Studies Program 

Dial-In Information

If you cannot make it in person, please register in advance: You'll receive meeting details upon registration.

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Event Type



Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Human Ecology Fiber Science and Apparel Design, ILR School, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, History, East Asia Program, Asian American Studies Program, Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM), Global Cornell, China and Asia-Pacific Studies

University Themes



humanities, history, ILR, human ecology, East Asia program, Global Cornell, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, aaspcal, asianstudiescal, cosochum, fgsscal



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Amala lane


Antonia Finnane

Speaker Affiliation

(honorary professorial fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne

Dept. Web Site

Disability Access Information

Autocaption will be turned on and we can provide other accessibility assistance with advance notice.

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