Mao comes to the Balkans.

The breach, in the 1960s, between the Soviet Union and China had far-reaching consequences for the project of socialist internationalism. It called into question the idea of unity. It pitted country against country, party against party. And it also paved the way for China's adoption of a more assertive role in the Third World, following the mind-blowing destruction of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. 

Transnational history typically favors contacts and exchanges, but what does not get exchanged, or what is exchanged but misunderstood, is also important. My approach to Albanian-Chinese contacts and collaboration in the 1960s and 1970s centers on forms and implications of misunderstanding, learning by "negative example," and techniques of translation.

I have written about the geopolitics of Mao's translated quotations and am at work on the strategic deployment of "China" in times of social upheaval. China's internationalization, which is one of the biggest global developments of the last 50 years, will necessarily require perspectives from around the world.

Mao Zedong meets with Albanian specialists during the Cultural Revolution, Shanghai, 1967.

Mao Zedong meets with Albanian specialists during the Cultural Revolution, Shanghai, 1967.