Denise Ho

Denise Ho's picture
Assistant Professor of History
HQ 220
+1 (203) 436-9291
Fields of interest: 

Modern China, Cultural Revolution, material culture, urban history

Denise Y. Ho is assistant professor of twentieth-century Chinese history at Yale University.  She is an historian of modern China, with a particular focus on the social and cultural history of the Mao period (1949-1976).  She is also interested in urban history, the study of information and propaganda, and material culture.  Ho teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on modern and contemporary China, the history of Shanghai, the uses of the past in modern China, and the historiography of the Republican era and the PRC. 
She is the author of Curating Revolution: Politics on Display of Mao’s China (2018).  Using a wide variety of primary sources, including Shanghai’s municipal and district archives and oral history, Curating Revolution depicts displays of revolution and history, politics and class, and art and science.  Analyzing China’s “socialist museums” and “new exhibitions,” Ho demonstrates how Mao-era exhibitionary culture both reflected and made revolution.  Current work continues Professor Ho’s interest in the material culture of the Mao era.  She is also researching a second book entitled Border Crossings: Hong Kong and Shenzhen at Empires’ Edge
In addition to her scholarly research, Professor Ho has been a commentator on contemporary China for The Atlantic, The China Beat, China File, China Policy Institute, Dissent Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Nation, and Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, among others.         
Denise Y. Ho received her B.A. in history from Yale College and an A.M. and Ph.D. in history from Harvard University.  She is currently one of twenty-one fellows in the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.  

Selected Publications

  • Curating Revolution: Politics on Display in Mao’s China.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.        
Articles and Chapters
  • “Revolutionizing Antiquity: The Shanghai Cultural Bureaucracy in the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1968.” The China Quarterly, no. 207 (September 2011), pp. 687-705. 
  • “Reforming Connoisseurship: State and Collectors in Shanghai in the 1950s and 1960s” (改造文物鉴赏:1950-1960年代政府与文物收藏家的博弈).  Frontiers of History in China, Volume 7, Issue 4 (2012), pp. 608-637. 
  • “Culture, Class, and Revolution in China’s Turbulent Decade: A Cultural Revolution State of the Field.”  History Compass, Vol. 12/3 (2014), pp. 226-238.
  • “From Landlord Manor to Red Memorabilia: Reincarnations of a Chinese Museum Town,” co-authored with Jie Li.  Modern China, Volume 42, Issue 1 (2016), pp. 3-37.

  • “Making a Revolutionary Monument: The Site of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party,” in Red Legacy in China: The Afterlives of the Communist Revolution in Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society, edited by Jie Li and Enhua Zhang.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2016, pp. 25-55. 

  • “The Old Society and the New Society: Towards a Material Culture of China’s Cultural Revolution,” in The Oxford Handbook of History and Material Culture, edited by Sarah Carter and Ivan Gaskell.  Forthcoming with Oxford University Press.          

  • “Museum,” in The Afterlives of Chinese Communism, edited by Christian Sorace.  Under review with Australian National University Press.  

Selected Commentary
East Asia