How the Chinese Nationalists regime of the early 20th century commemorated millions of war dead and compensation of the bereaved fortified the government’s central authority will be the topic of the next Modern China Lecture.

“Necropolitics in Modern China,” presented by Lihn Vu, assistant professor of history at Arizona State University, will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 14, on Zoom at

The talk is free and open to the public.

Vu’s presentation will discuss the ending of the Second Sino-Japanese War, which marked a crucial step in China’s nation building. According to a program summary, “The whole population, based on their eligibility for martyrdom, was incorporated into the nation-state. When the state granted to each of its members the right to die as a martyr, the necropower of the state was not limited to subjecting the population to death. It included urging civilians to sacrifice their lives in exchange for posthumous honors.”

Vu is the author of  “Governing the Dead: Martyrs, Memorials, and Necrocitizenship in Modern China (Cornell University Press, 2021),” which examines the efforts of the Chinese nation-state to record, commemorate, and compensate military and civilian dead and how such efforts transformed China’s social and cultural institutions.

Upcoming programs, which will take place on Zoom at and are free and open to the public, include:

Details can be found at the series homepage.

Also, at some of the upcoming events, a copy of the guest lecturers’ most recent book will be given away to a virtual attendee in a free opportunity drawing, available for pick-up after the talk.

The Modern China Lecture Series was initiated to promote awareness of important issues related to China for those on the CSUSB campus and in the community. In the series of more than 60 lectures, workshops, film screenings and roundtable forums since January 2014, China scholars from UC San Diego, UC Riverside, the Claremont Colleges, UCLA, USC, UC Irvine, Columbia, Oxford and other institutions have visited the CSUSB campus to share their expertise and opinions.

Speakers in the series have included specialists in history, economics, political science, philosophy, finance, security studies, literature, anthropology and other fields.

Alexander Serrano, a second-year master of arts candidate in the CSUSB history department has led the organizing efforts in the series this semester, and expects to add several more events to the series. Serrano has been accepted in the East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies Ph.D. program at UC Santa Barbara with the prestigious Kenneth Pai Fellowship for the fall 2022 term.

“I have been a viewer of the Modern China Lecture Series for a few years now,” said Serrano. “In my first time helping organize this series I wanted to bring in a variety of topics. By doing so I selected speakers from various institutions who could bring such strong expertise to CSUSB and help enrich this fantastic program.”

The series cosponsors this year are the CSUSB Department of History, the History Club/Phi Alpha Theta, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Intellectual Life Fund, and the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration.

For more information on the Modern China Lecture Series, contact Jeremy Murray, associate professor of history, at


Modern China Lecture Series March 14 event flier