China’s Down to the Countryside Movement

“Fate of a Generation, Fate of a Country:

History and Memory of China’s Down to the Countryside Movement”

Can one understand today’s China without knowing the causes, course and impacts of the Down to the Countryside Movement?

The Down to the Countryside Movement is a significant historical episode during the Mao era in which urban youths were sent en masse to rural areas, a movement whose consequences and impact can still be felt in today’s China. At the beginning, the objective was to allow urban youths to receive “re-education” from peasants in order to groom them as a new generation of peasants. Political movements with such radical objectives raise questions concerning universal values, in particular with regard to the limits of political power as well as the ability of individuals and social groups to adapt and resist.

China’s rusticated youths, or zhiqing, are less widely known and understood in the West than the Red Guards. Nonetheless, the experiences of zhiqing have had a profound impact in the long term. The exceptionality of this generation of zhiqing (those around 60 years old today) continues to play out. For instance, like war veterans in the West, they organize memorial activities. However, they have found it difficult to achieve a common narrative for their personal experiences as they lack objective historical knowledge of a period which the state has to this day labeled as sensitive.

The present time appears to be a felicitous moment to evaluate the Movement, its causes and its influences particularly on the zhiqing generation, as these will continue to determine China’s fate as they had in the past. The objective of this Conference is not only to provide a historical assessment, but also to show that this historical episode is indeed still playing out, taking the multifarious forms of literature, films and the arts, cultural and charitable activities organized by old zhiqing, as well as commercial activities. (1








Conference schedule


日期:2012年12月6-7日 / Date: 6–7 December 2012

時間:上午9時至下午6時三十分 / Time: 9:00am – 6:30pm


Languages: Putonghua and English (full translation into English may not be available for papers but help will be provided for questions).

Venue: Faculty Board Room, Room 220, 2/F, Fung King Hey Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


主辦機構 / Organizers:

  • Leung Po-chuen Research Centre for Hong Kong History and Humanities, CUHK 香港中文大學梁保全香港歷史及人文研究中心
  • French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) 法國現代中國研究中心
  • Sino-French Academic Centre of Tsinghua University (CFC) 清華大學中法中心
  • University Service Centre for China Studies, CUHK 香港中文大學中國研究服務中心
  • Lee Woo Sing Hong Kong History Resource Centre, Shaw College 李和聲香港歷史資源中心
  • Hong Kong Association of Educated Youths 香港知青協會



2012126/ 6 December 2012


830:報到 / Registration

900組織者發歡迎詞 / Welcoming remarks by the organizers

9:20:潘鳴嘯介紹本次研討會的緣由和目的以及兩天會議的議程 / Introduction by M. Bonnin


930 – 10:45

專題1 推動及放棄上山下鄉運動的因由

Topic 1: Reasons for launching and ending the Down to the Countryside Movement

主持:魏簡 / Chair: Sebastian Veg (CEFC)


9:30-9:50 譚世通 Tan Shitong : 上山下鄉運動之原因探討

9:50-10:10 徐友漁 Xu Youyu (CASS):文革中上山下鄉運動原因討論

10:10-10:30 潘鳴嘯 Michel Bonnin (EHESS, CFC-Tsinghua ): 推動及放棄上山下鄉運動-依據統計數字


10:45 – 11:00: 茶點 / Tea break


11:00 – 12:30

專題2 長期被學界忽略的文革前知青運動

Topic 2: The long neglected pre-Cultural Revolution educated youth movement

主持:潘鳴嘯 / Chair: Michel Bonnin (EHESS, CFC-Tsinghua)


11:00-11:20 陳意新 Chen Yixin (UNC Wilmington) : “老知青”和安徽祁門縣的農村文革

11:20-11:40 鄧鵬 Deng Peng (High Point University): 毛澤東時代的政治歧視和老知青的關係

11:40-12:00 劉小萌 Liu Xiaomeng (CASS):文革前的“階級路線”問題


12 :30 – 14 :30 : 午餐 / Lunch


14:30 – 16:00

專題3A:知青的經歷及其對這代人命運的影響 失去教育機會的問題

Topic 3A: Experiences of educated youths and their impacts on this generation – Problems of lost educational opportunities

主持:白夏/ Chair: Jean-Philippe Béja (CEFC, CASS)


14:30-14:50 林升寶 Lin Shengbao (Fudan University): “文革”時期上海知青業餘函授教育述論

14:50-15:10 印紅標 Yin Hongbiao (Peking University): 知青的讀書學習活動與文革後的命運

15:10-15:30 林淺寒 Lin Qianhan (NU Singapore): The Consequences of Being Rusticated: Life and Social Attitude and Review of the Past


16 :00 – 16 :20 : 茶點 / Tea


16:20 – 18:00

專題3B:知青的經歷及其對這代人命運的影響 對思想與精神面貌的影響

Topic 3B: Experiences of educated youths and their impacts on this generation – Intellectual and Psychological Impact

主持:白夏/ Chair: Jean-Philippe Béja (CEFC, CASS)


16:20-16:40 秦暉 Qin Hui (Tsinghua University): 知青運動中的理想主義和現實主義

16:40-17:00 金雁 Jin Yan (CASS): 在隴西的日子

17:00-17:20 丁東 Ding Dong (Shanxi University): 底層經歷對知青一代影響

17:20-17:40 孫佳雯 Sun Jiawen (EHESS, Paris): 訴說“苦痛”——前大興安嶺林場知青口述史的社會學研究


18:00 – 18:30


由金大陸教授引進: “中國知青研究的學科定位及其理論建設的若干問題

Discussion : Past and Future of the Study of Educated Youth

introduced by Prof. Jin Dalu: “Situating the field of Zhiqing studies in China and some questions on its theoretical construction”.



2012127 / 7 December 2012


9 :00 – 10 :30

專題4 香港在上山下鄉運動中的特殊角色:知青自願流放及梳理回憶的地方,也是學者觀察、 學習運動的地方

Topic 4: Role of Hong Kong in the Movement: a place for voluntary exile, learning, observing the Movement’s development, and accumulating memories

主持:何佩然 / Chair: Ho Pui-yin (CUHK)


9:00-9:20 金虹 Jin Hong (HK Educated Youth Association) /黃東漢 Huang Donghan (HK Educated Youth Association): 知青偷渡調查

9:20-9:40 李旦明 Li Danming (HK Educated Youth Association) : ‘’老三屆‘’人生軌跡的頓挫——廣州鐵中1968年東莞三公社下鄉知青調查

9:40-10:00 譚加洛 Tan Jialuo: 驚心動魄的南中國海知青偷渡潮——培英中學老三屆偷渡調查

10:00-10:10 : 潘鳴嘯 Michel Bonnin (EHESS, CFC-Tsinghua) : 從香港的位置上觀察學習知青的經歷

10:30 茶點 / Tea


10:45 – 12:00

專題5A 上山下鄉運動的豐富回憶 – A: 不同種類的社團組織及其活動

Topic 5A: Rich memories of the Movement – Different associations and their activities

主持:潘鳴嘯 / Chair: Michel Bonnin (EHESS, CFC-Tsinghua)


10:45-11:05 馬雅諾 Olivier Marichalar (ENS-EHESS, Paris) : Federating the memory of the movement : the emergence of the Shanghai field of former educated youth

11:05-11:25 駱少偉 Luo Shaowei (HK Educated Youth Association) /羅鈞 Lo Kwan (HK Educated Youth Association): 香港知青成立社團及活動狀況


12:00 – 13:30: 午餐 / Lunch


13:30 – 15:00

專題5B 上山下鄉運動的豐富回憶 – B:思想衝突,不同記憶的博弈

Topic 5B: Rich memories of the Movement – Ideological conflicts, contests between different memories

主持:陳健民 / Chair: Chan Kin-man (University Service Center, CUHK)


13:30-13:50 潘以紅 Pan Yihong (Miami University): 知青認同觀念及群體意識的歷史衍變和凝結力量

13:50-14:10 蘇娜 Nora Sausmikat (Duisburg University) : Twisted memories: Coping strategies of a politicized generation.

14:10-14:30 劉亞秋 Liu Yaqiu (CASS): 知青主流記憶及其反記憶--以《知青》電視劇的網絡民族志為例

14:30-14:45 金光耀 Jin Guangyao (Fudan University): 應將知青與上山下鄉運動區分開來分析評價


15:00 - 15:15:茶點 / Tea



專題6 上山下鄉運動的文藝體現

Topic 6: Movement as reflected in literature and art

主持:周建渝 / Chair: Zhou Jianyu (CUHK)


15:15-15:35 梁麗芳 Leung Laifong : 知青文學的一個盲點:論紅衛兵記憶的處理

15:35-15:55 黎服兵 Li Fubing: 知青與文學--一個老知青和編輯的觀點

15:55-16:15 王力堅 Wang Lijian (臺灣中央大學): 眾眼看知青——上山下鄉運動的多向度觀照

16:15-16:35 吳迪 Wu Di (中國電影藝術研究中心): 銀幕中的上山下鄉運動——淺談知青電影中的理想主義

16:35-16:55 楊健 Yang Jian (Central Academy of Drama): 21世紀初10年的知青文學和文化思潮





Discussion: Significance of the Movement in Contemporary Chinese History

Chair: Michel Bonnin


18:30 End of the conference

  1. Michel Bonnin, Génération perdue. Le mouvement d´envoi des jeunes instruits à la campagne en Chine (1968-1980). Paris, EHESS, 2007. []

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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