Welcome to this website featuring my writings on Chinese art and Chinese history.  I am a historian teaching courses on art history and world history 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, was just 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.



Shelley Drake Hawks’ 2018 Book Talks for
The Art of Resistance: Painting by Candlelight in Mao’s China
(University of Washington Press, 2017)




Tuesday, February 6, noon-1:00pm, Middlesex Community College, Lowell campus, 33 Kearney Square, Federal Building, Assembly Room off lobby.


Thursday, February 8, 7:00-8:30pm, Three Stones Gallery, 115 Commonwealth Avenue, West Concord, MA.  Special event for “Views from the East,” featuring 8 artists inspired by Asian traditions. Shelley Hawks co-curated the show with Jennifer Johnston.  The Feb 8 event will feature artists, curators, and Chinese musician Tai-Chun Pan.


Sunday, February 18, 3:00-4:00 pm, Diesel Bookstore, Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th Street, Suite 33, Santa Monica, CA.


Friday, March 9, 7:00-8:00pm, Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee, WI.


Wednesday, March 21, 12:00-2:00, Women’s Parish Association luncheon, First Parish Church, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA.


4 Wednesdays, March 28-April 24, 10:00-11:30AM, Concord-Carlisle Adult Education, Village University, Newbury Court, Community Rm, 100 Newbury Ct., Concord, MA.


Monday, April 2, 7:00-8:00pm, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA.


Wednesday, April 18, 3:00-4:00pm, Suffolk University, 73 Tremont St., Boston, MA.


Monday, April 23, 5:00-6:30pm, Brandeis University, 415 South St., Waltham, MA.


Tuesday, July 10, 7:00-8:00pm, Porter Square Bookstore, 25 White Street, Cambridge, MA.





Please visit my author’s page on Art History Publications Initiative. A 12 minute video featuring recent interviews with Chinese painters can be accessed here.


Shelley Drake Hawks, Ph.D.