Piotr Strzalkowski (AHRC DTP)

Thesis title: Red Scare in China: Caricatures, Anti-Communist Propaganda, and the Foreign-Press in the Interwar Shanghai, 1924-1937.

Research summary

Red Scare in China: Caricatures, Anti-Communist Propaganda, and the Foreign-Press in the Interwar Shanghai, 1924-1937.

Cartoons serve as a prism for exploring the nature of Shanghailanders’ attitude towards communism in the context of the rapid development of the movement in and outside China between 1924 and 1937. Focusing on a small British colonial community in Shanghai, the study investigates the diverse representations and perceptions on formation of Communism and attempts to provide general answers applicable to other Western colonies and semi-colonies. It will contribute to the scholarship in the studies of foreign communities in China, print press, visual culture, and communist history. By analysing the specific case of Shanghai in an interdisciplinary framework, a new perspective is brought to current debates within global history on: popularisation of ideas through visual culture, and press.

Current research interests

Foreigners in China and Shanghai, cultural relations between West and China, caricatures and propaganda, semiotics, social psychology.

Conference details

"How to read political and ideological humour? Anti-communist cartoons in Shanghai as a n example for use of semiotics and the Stereotype Content Model." - presented at Humours of the Past: Humour, History, Methodology (Durham University 26-28 July, 2017).

"Pursuing ideologically homogeneous China: cartoons and the early Red Scare in China, 1924-1925." - presented at the British Postgraduate Network for Chinese Studies 2018 Conference (Oxford University 21-22 June, 2018).