Welcome to this website featuring my writings on Chinese art and Chinese history.  I am a historian teaching courses on art history and world civilization at Middlesex Community College, in Bedford and Lowell, MA, USA. I earned a masters in Regional Studies--East Asia at Harvard University in 1986 and a doctorate in Chinese history at Brown University in 2003. Previously I taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Boston University, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Mount Holyoke College.



My book, The Art of Resistance. Painting by Candlelight, will be published by University of Washington Press in November, 2017. It tells the story of seven artists who suffered greatly during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76).  They are: Shi Lu 石鲁 (1919-82), Feng Zikai 丰子恺 (1898-1975), Pan Tianshou 潘天寿 (1897-1971), Li Kuchan 李苦禅 (1898-1983), Li Keran 李可染 (1907-89), Ding Cong 丁聪 (1916-2009) and Huang Yongyu 黄永玉 (b. 1924). These artists stood up for creative autonomy. All found opportunities to maintain their connection to art despite the turmoil around them. Their stories reveal a fierce personal independence rooted in Chinese art and philosophy.


Schedule of Book-related Appearances:


Book launch:  Sunday, November 26, 2:00-5:00 pm at Full Circle Bookstore, Oklahoma City, OK  events@fullcirclebooks.com


Author’s talk:  Thursday evening, November 30, 7:00pm at Concord Free Public Library, Concord, MA, 7:30 pm


To view my videos and more images of Chinese artwork from my book, please visit my author’s page on Art History Publications Initiative.

"Written with grace and keen insight, this work illuminates unexpected aspects of China's culture, while adding a new dimension to global discourse about the role of art in times of historical trauma. Hawks offers startlingly new visual evidence for spiritual resistance in Mao's China, which will enable readers to think afresh about the Nazi Holocaust and Stalin's reign of terror as well. This book accomplishes a rare feat: it addresses both art and history compellingly in a way that enriches both disciplines."
-Vera Schwarcz, author of Colors of Veracity: A Quest for Truth in China and Beyond


Shelley Drake Hawks, Ph.D.