Ning Zhang


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Ning Zhang

Newton International Fellow, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



I graduated from Fudan University in January 2022. Presently, I am a Newton International Fellow at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and a college advisor at St Antony’s College.

As a historian specialising in Modern China, I am currently undertaking a project titled 'Chinese Sent-Down Youth and the Communist Movement in Burma (19681989)', which is funded by the British Academy.

Research interests

My current research mainly focuses on social and political history, particularly on topics such as Global Maoism, the Cultural Revolution, the Down to the Countryside Movement and the Collectivisation of Agriculture and People’s Communes in the Mao Era.

My doctoral study is about the relationship between the sent-down youth and the local communities from 1968 to 1980. Currently, I am incorporating the theories and approaches of the history of emotions into my studies of the Mao Era to explore the daily emotional experience of the sent-down youth in rural areas during this period.

The history of everyday life and how people coped with continuous revolution or a rapidly changing society, has been a long-standing interest of mine. My previous studies from the Late Qing to the Republic Era include the impact of the 1911 Revolution on the livelihood of people at the bottom, marginal party members in the early history of the Chinese Communist Party and Guomindang, and the life stories of the ordinary soldiers during the War of Resistance Against Japan.

Forthcoming papers

  • 'Fighting for International Communism? Chinese Sent-Down Youths in Burma during the Mao Era'
  • 'Fighting in a Utopia? Chinese Volunteers and Political Paranoia of the Burmese Communist Party'
  • 'Revolution or Work Points? Sent-Down Youth’s Navigation of the Maoist Emotional Regime in Rural China'
  • 'Re-examination of "Persecution of the Sent-Down Youth by Rural Residents" in the Sent-down Youth Movement'

Selected publications (in Chinese)


  • Yen Hsi-shan in 1927, Taipei: Mulan Culture Co., Ltd, 2015. 《1927年閻錫山易幟研究》,臺北:木蘭文化出版社,2015。

Research Papers

  • 'Revolution, Workpoints and Reeducation: Yunzhuang Village in Jiangxi Province During the Sent-Down Youth Movement', Twenty-First Century (Hong Kong), October 2021, pp. 82101.《革命、工分与再教育——上山下乡运动时期江西云庄村的案例》,《二十一世纪》(香港),2021年10月号。
  • Co-authored with JIN Guangyao. '"Comrades in all Rural Areas should Welcome the Sent–Down Youth": Investigation on the Sent–Down Youth’s Resettlement in Jiangxi Province', Remembrance, Vol. 4, No. 1, 3, 2022, pp. 3038, 3140. 《“各地农村的同志应当欢迎他们去”:江西省接受上海知青的考察》,《记忆》,2022年第4卷第1、3期。
  • 'Some Thoughts on Research on the History of Sent–Down Youth Movement through the Prism of Peasants', CPC History Studies, No. 9, 2018, pp. 6164. 《对以农民视角为切入点的知青史研究的思考》,《中共党史研究》,2018年第9期。
  • 'Investigation on Yen Hsi-shan’s Mediation of Feng–Ning–Jin Alliance during the Northern Expedition', Unity News (Beijing), 24 November 2016, p. 05. 《北伐时期阎锡山斡旋奉宁晋联盟钩沉》,《团结报》(北京),2016年11月24日第05版。
  • Co-authored with Shen Xiaoyun. 'On Eight Banners’ Livelihood after the 1911 Revolution (19121924)', Journal of Beihua University, No. 5, 2014, pp. 5760. 《辛亥革命后(19121924年)旗人生计问题研究》,《北华大学学报》,2014年第5期。
  • 'From Comrade to Stranger: Shen Dingyi and the Chinese Communist Party', Historian Teahouse, Vol. 2, 2012, pp.4551. 《从同志到陌路:沈定一与中共》,《历史学家茶座》,2012年第2辑。

Conference Papers

  • 'The "Work-Point Argument" in a Revolutionary Discourse: An Examination Centred on a Shanghai Zhiqing group in Jiangxi', 'Collecting, Collating and Employing Unofficial Materials in Contemporary China History', East China Normal University, Shanghai, 1718 October 2020, pp. 157179.
  • 'The Death of One Re-Educable Youth: A Case Study from the Perspective of Oral History', 2019 Annual Conference of Chinese Sociology, 'Contemporary China Studies: Oral History, Collective Memory and Social Identity', Kunming, China, 1214 July 2019, pp. 3139.

Teaching and supervising

I have experience teaching tutorials on Global Maoism and supervising undergraduate students studying Modern Chinese History.