Initial Project Proposal

In this presentation, I will be utilizing data visualization and digital archives via an Omeka website to address the impact of the Chinese cultural revolution on the development and dissemination of Communist ideology worldwide. Data Visualization tools, specifically TimeMapperJS, will be necessary to depict the various geographical scales of this movement (local, regional, quasi-regional).

The finished product will be an Omeka website, full of data visualizations that map geographically and temporally the specific events that occurred in the cultural revolution,  and as well as matrices depicting messages sent from key Communist figures.

Ultimately, this project will use the tools that we have experimented with in this class to depict the rise of East Asian Communism, ideologically and physically in terms of the force used by the Chinese government to impose this ideology upon the people. Accordingly, my research question is thus: How did Mao Zedong’s Chinese cultural revolution birth the Communist ideology that has dominated East Asian over the last 60 years? Considering the format of this project, the intended audience will be anyone of interest? I suppose the most appropriate use of this project would be used in educational and museum facilities.

East Asian is currently the graveyard of Karl Marx’s Communist experiment. Enlightening the American public with events that contributed to the spread of Communist ideology to its only existing habitat will help students and adults alike understand the monumental historical importance of Karl Marx’s ideas outside of the Cold War. Data visualization of the connections between Chinese Communisms, Soviet Russia, the Vietminh, and other Communist movements and leaders will be the most difficult to present to an audience. I think the best tool to visualize this phenomenon will be the application that maps the frequency of connections and messages between Communist leaders. In providing this information, I will be able to map the archaeology of a transnational, border-less Communist movement. ‘

As I am researching part of this topic (the Red Guards) for another class, I have already found a number of sources on this topic. Some of these have been documentaries on Mao Zedong from YouTube, research papers and peer edited journals from our library, and a book ( Fractured Rebellion by Andrew G. Walder). Finding and reading letters from Soviet leaders to Mao Zedong, including a letter from Mao suggesting a stealth attack on the United States, will be interesting and fun.

At this point, I believe that out of necessity I will need to create an Omeka website to be able to host this project online. Providing a server and setting up a separate website seems to be something that could potential drain time and resources. If I have the time (and confidence!) , I will attempt this rout.


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