Rebecca Karl

Associate Professor of History

Duke University, PhD 1995

Research Interests: 

Modern China; Intellectual history; women and gender

Selected Works:


The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory, co-editor and co-translator, with Lydia Liu & Dorothy Ko; Columbia University Press, 2013.

 karlbook.jpg Mao Zedong Zhuan [Biography of Mao Zedong]. Translation and adaptation of Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth Century World. Changsha: Hunan People’s Press, 2013.
MaoZedong.jpg Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History. Durham, NC: Duke University Press 2010.
karlstagingworld.jpg Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Durham, NC: Duke University Press 2002.
karlrethinking1898.jpg Rethinking the 1898 Reform Period: Political and Cultural Change in Modern China, co-editor (with Peter Zarrow); Harvard University, Council on East Asian Publications 2002.
karlmarxism.jpg Marxism beyond Marxism, co-editor (with Saree Makdisi and Cesare Casarino), Routledge 1996.



Revolution and its Narratives: Socialist Literary and Cultural Imaginaries in China, 1950-1966. Co-translator (with Xueping Zhong) from the Chinese book by Cai Xiang. Duke University Press, February 2016.

The Magic of Concepts: Essays on Philosophy, History and the Economic in Twentieth-Century China. Duke University Press, Fall 2016.


“What is World History? A Critique of Pure Ideology,” in Tina Chen & David S. Churchill, eds., The Material of World History, NY: Routledge, 2015.

“Jingjixue, wenhua yu lishi shijian: 20 shiji 30 niandai de yici pipan” [Economics, Culture and Temporality: A 1930s Debate], Marxism & Reality (Beijing), Vol 122 (January 2013): 176-182.

“Feminism in China,” Journal of Modern Chinese History (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Modern History Institute Journal), Volume 6, No. 2, December 2012: 235-255.

“Mao Zedong and the Contemporary Global Conjuncture,” Das Argument (in German), January 2012.

“The Flight to Rights: 1990s China and Beyond,” Wang Ban, ed., Special Issue on “China and Theory,” Telos 151 (Summer 2010): 87-104.

“On Women’s Labor: He Zhen, Anarcho-Feminism and Twentieth-Century China in the World.” Labyris (Brazil) []. January/December 2010. 

“Can a Post-1919 World History be Written?”  Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies (Korea), Vol 9, No 1 (April 2009): 1-10.

“Journalism, Social Value, and a Philosophy of the Everyday in1920s China,” positions 16:3 (Winter 2008): 539-568.

“Culture, Revolution and the Times of History: Mao Zedong and 20th Century China,” China Quarterly 187 (Fall 2006): 693-699.

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Updated on 09/15/2015