Episode 7: The Past is Political

Image: part of a fresco discovered in a Han Dynasty era (206B.C.E. – 24C.E.) tomb in Shandong Province, with images of notable figures, including Confucius and Laozi, as well as scenes of drinking, dancing, cock fighting, women servants and historical stories.


Heads up Vanuatu, History Against the Grain is on its way! Chris and Josh play a very special game of Love/Love with a shout out to the recent Pulitzer Prize winners in History, Fiction, and Commentary. Chris also discusses the massive impact of intellectual historian Hayden White on how we think about and engage with the past, and Josh interviews Lingnan University’s Vincent Leung about his remarkable and extremely relevant book, The Politics of the Past in Early China.

Profesor Vincent Leung, Lingnan University,
Hong Kong

To hear Episode 7 The Politics of the Past, click on the following link:


Sources Referenced:

Vincent Leung, The Politics of the Past in Early China (2020)


W. Caleb McDaniel, Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution (2019) https://newrepublic.com/article/155392/early-case-reparations

Nikole Hannah-Jones, The 1619 Project (2019)


Hayden White, “The Burden of History” (1966)


Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys (2019)


“Vincent S. Leung has produced an exceptional piece of intellectual history. The book is a powerful testament to the fact that the past is not necessarily a neutral, objective given; it can be a high-stakes enterprise involving contested notions of heritage, origin, and authority that reflect concerns and interests in the present.”

Erica Brindley – Pennsylvania State University

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