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. In Spring 2023, I served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Montana (Department of History) 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. I currently serve as the Interim Director of Communications for the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and 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

Navigating Agency in China and Taiwan’s Cold War Aid Diplomacy
April 2023

Learning by Going Out: Para-diplomacy and Bureaucratic Learning in China’s Anti-Corruption Bureau
April 2023

Global Maoism for the Global South
April 2023

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