About Me

James Gethyn Evans

About ME

I am a scholar of modern and contemporary China, specializing in China’s foreign relations with the Global South. I am trained in modern history, political science, and East Asian Studies, and my research aims to intervene at the intersection of these fields. My research interests include China’s foreign relations with non-state actors, the global impact of Maoism, and anti-imperialism and decolonization movements during the Cold War. I am a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University, where I also hold affiliations with the History Department, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and the Joint Center for History and Economics. I am currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Montana (Department of History), where I am teaching Modern East Asia in spring 2023.

My dissertation project, entitled “How China Built the Global South,” examines how the People’s Republic of China engaged a global network of revolutionaries at the height of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) through the promotion of Mao Zedong Thought as a form of anti-imperialist Third World solidarity.

Prior to my Ph.D., I earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford and a master’s in Regional Studies East Asia at Harvard University, where my thesis, “The Third World’s Maoist Revolution: Maoism, African-American Activism, and Naxalism during China’s Cultural Revolution,” won the Joseph Fletcher Memorial Award.

I have been fortunate to have studied, worked, and researched around the world, including in the UK, Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Western Balkans, and the US. I have over a decade of experience in public affairs, policy advising, and communications. From 2015-2023, I was the communications officer for Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

Get in touch

I am happy to talk about my research, to offer guest lectures for classrooms, or to speak with journalists. You can contact me via email at jamesevans [at] fas.harvard.edu, or via social media.

Research interests

Modern Chinese History and Politics, Chinese Foreign Policy, Authoritarianism, Global South, Race and Ethnicity, Global and International History, History of Science/Science and Technology Studies, Mixed Methods Social Science Research

Recent Talks

“Maoist Medicine and Revolutionary Diplomacy: How China Exported Maoism and Contested Isolationism during the Cultural Revolution”
May 2022

“Megaphone Diplomacy and Competitive Coalition-Building: Public Statements as an Alternate Arena for US-China Competition”
April 2022

“Decolonizing Chinese History in and beyond the Academy”
April 2022

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