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Mark Czellér

Past & Present Fellow 2022-24

Mark Czellér is a historian of twentieth-century China, with a focus on the Mao era. His research explores the Chinese Communist Party’s categorization of a substantial minority of the Chinese population as 'class enemies' between land reform (1946-52) and the late 1970s. 


Mark’s Research

Mark’s doctoral thesis, which he is currently revising for publication as a monograph, is titled 'Non-People in the People’s Republic: “Landlords” and “Rich Peasants” under Maoist State Socialism.' Based on a combination of bureaucratic documents, propaganda material, and memoirs, it is a political, cultural, and social history of the largest group of people deemed 'class enemies' by the Maoist state. An article deriving from this project, which explores the predicament of those whose families were classified as ‘landlords’ or ‘rich peasants’ from the perspective of the history of emotions, has recently appeared in Modern China.

Mark has also begun developing his next project, an intellectual history of perspectives on the Chinese Communist Party’s land reform campaigns. These campaigns probably constituted the largest redistribution of economic, political, and social capital in human history, and as such have been the subject of much debate and polemic. This project will trace how these debates have developed over the past century—from the emergence of the “land question” in the 1920s, through the Cold War, and into the present. 


‘Filial Affection as Political Failing: The Children of Rural Class Enemies under the Maoist Emotional Regime.’ Modern China, 50:1 (2024), 41-75. 

‘Local Reassessment versus Central Prestige: Tao Zhu, Land Reform, and the Pine Hill Incident’. In Daniel Leese and Amanda Shuman (eds.), Justice after Mao: The Politics of Historical Truth in the People’s Republic of China (Cambridge University Press, 2023). 

Review of Yue Du, State and Family in China: Filial Piety and Its Modern Reform (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022). H-Asia, H-Net Reviews. May, 2023. 

Review of Brian DeMare, Tiger, Tyrant, Bandit, Businessman (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2022). The PRC History Review, no. 62 (October 2023).