This presentation explores the link between the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to globalize Maoism and the dialectical engagement of exported Maoism by intellectuals who became Maoists in Cambodia. It draws from Edward Said’s concept of “Traveling Theory,” which identifies conditions of production, transmission, and reception, to explain how Maoism emerged in Cambodian intellectual circles. The presentation does so by examining the intellectual journey of Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) Minister of Information Hu Nim (aka. Comrade Phoas). During his studies in Paris in the 1950s and after trips to China in the 1960s, Nim founded the Khmer-Chinese Friendship Association; Sameak Kommittpheap Khmer-Chen; Gaomian-Zhongguo youhao xiehui) and became a Maoist until his execution at Tuol Sleng (S-21) prison. The presentation is therefore one of becoming in which the central roles of community and network pushed Nim towards radicalization. It seeks ultimately to chart the course of Maoisms, global and local, by making broader sense of Nim’s life and by referring to organizations in which he participated actively.
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