Who We Are: 2014 Statement

Tiananmen in History and Memory
Harvard College Students Remembering the Tiananmen Massacre
A Conference for the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Movement
April 26, 2014, Saturday 9am-6pm
Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall, Harvard Yard

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Movement. In spring 1989, millions of Chinese took to the streets calling for political reform. The nationwide movement ended on June 4 with the People’s Liberation Army firing on unarmed civilians in the capital city of Beijing. Tiananmen remains a politically taboo topic in China today.

We are a group of students at Harvard College hailing from different regions of the world and embodying a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and perspectives. We were not yet born in 1989 but were brought together by a seminar “Rebels with a Cause: Tiananmen in History and Memory” taught by Dr. Rowena He. During our time together, we studied the primary source materials of the Tiananmen Movement, heard personal accounts of student participants themselves, and explored the Tiananmen archives of the Harvard–Yenching Library. We imagined ourselves into the minds of the authorities and civilians, touched the protesters’ blood-stained clothes, and re-enacted the night of June 3rd, trying to put ourselves in the shoes of the protesters who then were around the same age as we are now. We debated and questioned everything along the way. Our learning experience shows that with free access to information and free inquiry, we as young people can indeed come to our own understanding of historical truth.

There have been hundreds of Tiananmen events in the past 24 years all over the world, but we are excited that we as undergraduate students are putting together a conference for the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Movement. Our conference will be held on April 26, a historically important date in 1989 when the first official judgment of the movement was printed in the lead editorial of the Party’s newspaper, the People’s Daily, designating the student demonstrations as premeditated and organized turmoil with anti-Party and anti-socialist motives.

The conference will include student presentation panels with faculty members serving as chairs, and cross-generational conversations among students and journalists who covered 1989, student participants and survivors of 1989, and scholars who study the topic. For us college students who were not born in 1989, Tiananmen is history; for the invited speakers, Tiananmen is memory.

Invited panelists include former Beijing Bureau Chiefs for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Newsweek, survivors Fang Zheng, whose legs were crushed by a tank, and Liane Lee, a Hong Kong student who was rescued by Beijing citizens, professor Wu Guoguang, speechwriter for former premier Zhao Ziyang, professors Pei Minxin and Arthur Waldron, and many others. Please refer to our program for more details.

The conference will end with a performance created by students. Violinist Lynn Chang, Class 75, who played at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Liu Xiaobo, will join the performance.

It is our hope that through this conference we may give a voice to those who were silenced and that this voice will help keep the memory of June 4 alive. Join us!

2014 Tiananmen Conference Student Planning Committee



Boylston Hall, 哈佛园

今年是天安门运动25周年。在1989年春天,成千上万的中国人走上街头,呼吁政改, 但在6月4日那天,这场运动却以人民解放军向手无寸铁的民众开枪而告终。直到今天,天安门运动在中国大陆一直是被禁止的话题。

我们是一群哈佛大学的本科生,来自世界各地,代表着不同的民族与文化。在1989年,我们都还没有出生,是何晓清博士开的关于六四的课:“有目标的反叛: 天安门运动的历史与记忆”,将我们聚集到一起。在这门课上,我们读了有关天安门民主运动的原始材料,听了当年学生参与者的自述,查阅了哈佛燕京图书馆的天安门档案。我们试图体味当局与民众的不同心态,我们目睹了示威者的血衣,我们还通过表演,重现1989年6月3日夜晚的历史场面,想象当年和我们一样年青的那些示威者的真切感受。我们提出许多问题,在辩论与思考中学习。我们自身的经验显示:只要有信息自由和探索自由,我们年轻人确实可以对历史的真相做出我们自己的判断。



我们邀请的讲演人包括当年华尔街日报、华盛顿邮报、以及新闻周刊驻北京的首席记者,被坦克压断双腿的幸存者方政,被北京市民救护的香港学生李兰菊,曾任赵紫阳总理讲话稿撰写人的吴国光教授,以及裴敏欣教授和Arthur Waldon教授等。
会议还会有学生自编自演的节目,曾为刘晓波获诺贝尔和平奖在2010年的颁奖仪式上演奏的哈佛校友、小提琴家Lynn Chang 也将参加我们的演出。




Tiananmen in History and Memory

A Conference Organized by Harvard College Students to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Movement

April 26, 2014, Saturday 9am-6pm

Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall, Harvard Yard

Open to the public. Register here for the conference.

Cross-generational Dialogue Panels with: Jeff Widener, the Tank Man photographer; Adi Ignatius, Wall Street Journal Beijing Bureau Chief in 1989; co-editor of Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang. Dan Southerland, Beijing Bureau Chief for the Washington Post in 1989; Dinda Elliot, Former Beijing Bureau Chief of Newsweek; Claudia Rosett, former editorial-page editor of The Asian Wall Street Journal in 1989; professor Wu Guoguang, speechwriter for former premier Zhao Ziyang; survivor Fang Zheng, whose legs were crushed when a tank drove over him; student leader Shen Tong, co-chair of the Student Dialogue Delegation in 1989, Liane Lee, a Hong Kong college who witnessed the massacre in 1989; Zhou Fengsuo, student leader at Tsinghua University in 1989; listed number 5 on the 21 most wanted list after the Massacre.

Student Paper Panels with: Professors William Kirby, Mark Elliott, Martin Whyte, Arthur Waldron, Paul Cohen, Pei Minxin, Victor Falkenheim, Roderick MacFarquhar.

Student Performance directed by Bex Kwan ’14, with violinist Lynn Chang ’75, who played at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Liu Xiaobo.

Special thanks to: The Freshman Seminar Office; Provost Fund for the Arts and Humanities; Weatherhead Center Undergraduate Fund; Elson Arts Fund; Media and Technology Services

Register here to secure a seat!

Join us in our commemoration of the events of 1989.

Image adopted from the cover of Rowena’s Tiananmen Exiles.

2014 Student Paper Abstracts

I Remember
Trevor Byrne

I wrote this song as a reflection on the bravery and strength of the protesters in 1989, and how it is our duty to remember their sacrifice and to continue advocating their cause. The song is dedicated to the victims of Tiananmen and their families, especially the Tiananmen Mothers, who continue to advocate for justice for the Tiananmen victims. My song will be performed by the Harvard Callbacks, Harvard’s premier co-ed a capella group. The soloist for the performance is Luke Demas, class of 2016.

The Tiananmen Archives: A Journey through Memory
Antonio Coppola

I explore the story behind the archival collections that the Harvard-Yenching library assembled in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Massacre, and uncover the continuing relationship between Harvard and the Chinese democracy movement. Using material gathered through interviews and archival research, I argue for the urgency of genuine historical investigation, in defiance of the authoritarian winds that too often blow to distort collective memory. In light of continuing historical censorship, I propose a project for the digitization of the Harvard-Yenching archives.

Mock Trial on the Tiananmen Massacre
Peyton Fine

If you ask most people about what happened in and around Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 1989, they would tell you that what happened was wrong. They would tell you that someone in the Chinese government or the Chinese military did something wrong. However, no one ever proved that someone within the government or military did anything wrong or illegal. But, what if someone had conducted a trial? What if a country prosecuted a Chinese government or military official in a court of law? What if mothers of the victims or eyewitnesses testified about what transpired? This presentation aims to illustrate the arguments that can be made during such a trial.

Alex Foote

Freshmen year, Alex presented a speech about the Tiananmen Square massacre’s legacy in China in regards to “bleaching” out history. She spoke about her experiences in China, and how residents would ignore the topic of migrant workers, hiding their lives beneath the façade of new shiny buildings. In this conference, Alex will add new insights to this erasing of history from recent experiences and reflections in China. Removing the voices of the unnoticed, hidden citizens create a censored, untruthful history. Keeping the “Three ‘T’s”- Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen Square- forbidden further distorts the truth and prevents dialogue from taking place.

Mother Knows Best: Tribute to Tiananmen Mothers
Stephen Kim

My essay and song are a personal reflection of the emotions that I felt over the course of the Tiananmen freshman seminar. More specifically, they are a reflection of the deep empathy I felt for the Tiananmen mothers. Imagining the perpetual grief and pain that these mothers still feel to this day was what inspired me not only to discover a passion for this class but also to express my thoughts and emotions through a musical piece.

The Jewish Holocaust: My Tiananmen
Sarah Mellors

My paper explores commonalities between the 1989 Democracy Movement and the Holocaust. As a descendent of Jewish Holocaust victims and survivors, I compare personal letters written by my great-grandmother in the 1930s with writings on the 1989 Tiananmen events. In both the Holocaust and the Tiananmen Massacre, authorities deployed extensive propaganda and dehumanization campaigns to justify their violence. I reflect on how differing circumstances have shaped these events and their legacies in historical memory.

Learning of a Massacre: A Personal Narrative
Amanda Mozea

My presentation is a personal reflection of my experience of taking the Tiananmen seminar. Tiananmen—I feel—is an event, a concept, a catastrophic explosion of terror and death that can only be responded to with emotion. Any attempt to make Tiananmen cerebral, to reduce its memories to a time line of events or to a list of known victims or to a number of dead, is to lose the true essence of Tiananmen. This essence is the emotion that Tiananmen triggers, boils, wrenches from any human being with a conscience, any human being who sees the fundamental wrongs in the actions of a government—an institution, the institution, ordained—above all others—to service to an entire populace—massacring the citizens with whom it was charged to protect. In this presentation, I capture the sentiments and sensations that I felt as I listened and learned in this course.

To Love one’s Country: Patriotism Before and After Tiananmen
Molly Wharton

My paper discusses what it means to be patriotic in China. I first explore the discrepancy between how the student protestors of Tiananmen Square viewed their own patriotism and how the Chinese government presented it. I then examine how the Patriotic Education Campaign reacted to the Tiananmen Square protests and made official the notion of patriotism that the government and media had tried to establish in 1989.



2012 Abstracts
2011 Abstracts

2014 Faculty and Invited Speaker Biographies

Paul A. Cohen

Paul A. Cohen began his career at the University of Michigan and Amherst College. He then taught for thirty-five years at Wellesley College, where he is Edith Stix Wasserman Professor of Asian Studies and History, Emeritus. He is also a long-time Associate at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University. Cohen has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships. His books include Discovering History in China: American Historical Writing on the Recent Chinese Past (1984) and History in Three Keys: The Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth (1997), both published by Columbia University Press. History in Three Keys was the winner of the 1997 New England Historical Association Book Award and the American Historical Association’s 1997 John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History. Cohen’s most recent publication is Speaking to History: The Story of King Goujian in Twentieth-Century China (University of California Press, 2009). His work has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


Dorinda Elliott

Dorinda Elliott is an independent journalist and an adjunct professor of journalism at Stony Brook University.

Until October 2013, Elliott was Global Affairs Editor at Condé Nast Traveler. In addition to commissioning and writing articles about such subjects as Shanghai’s financial future, avant garde Chinese art, and Taiwan as “the other China,” she managed coverage of corporate social responsibility in the travel industry.

Prior to Condé Nast Traveler, Elliott served as Time magazine’s Assistant Managing Editor in charge of business coverage. Before that, Elliott was Editor in Chief of Asiaweek, a newsweekly in Hong Kong that she relaunched with a focus on China. From 1986 through 2000, Elliott worked at Newsweek: as bureau chief in Hong Kong, Beijing, Moscow and Brussels, covering China’s reforms, privatization in Russia, the fall of Suharto in Indonesia, and Hong Kong’s handover to Chinese rule. Elliott lived in Beijing from 1986-1990, covering the student democracy movement in 1989 and the subsequent crackdown.

Elliott graduated from Harvard College, where she majored in East Asian Studies. She speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, studied in Taiwan—and rusty Russian and French.


Mark C. Elliott

Mark C. Elliott is the Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Department of History at Harvard University. His first book, The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (Stanford, 2001), based on previously untouched Manchu-language sources, is an influential study in the “New Qing History” 新清史, an approach to the history of the last dynasty to rule in China that emphasizes the importance of Manchu political and military institutions in giving the last empire its particular shape and identity. His newest book is Emperor Qianlong: Son of Heaven, Man of the World (Longman, 2009). He is also the co-editor of New Qing Imperial History: Making Inner Asia Empire at Chengde (Routledge, 2004) and the author of numerous articles.

Elliott teaches courses on the history of late imperial China, China and Inner Asia, as well as classes in Manchu studies, literary Manchu, and classical Mongolian. He is the Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and chair of Harvard’s PhD Committee in History and East Asian Languages.


Victor C. Falkenheim

Professor Victor C. Falkenheim is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto where he has taught since 1972. Educated at Princeton (B.A) and Columbia (MA & Ph.D) Professor Falkenheim has previously served twice as Chair of the Department of East Asian Studies as well as Director of the Joint Centre for Modern East Asia. His research interests and publications center on local politics and political reform in China. He has lectured widely in China and has worked on a number of CIDA and World Bank projects in China over the past two decades. His current research focuses on issues dealing with migration and urbanization.


Fang Zheng

Born in 1966 in Hefei, Anhui Province, Fang Zheng was admitted into the Beijing Sports Institute in 1985, and was an active participant in the 1989 patriotic democratic student movement. About 6:00 a.m. on 4 June 1989, an army tank drove over him from behind at Liubukou on Chang’an Avenue as he was withdrawing from Tiananmen Square. Both of his legs were crashed, but a female fellow student that he tried to rescue was saved.

In March 1992, Fang Zheng won gold medals for the wheelchair javelin and discus events at the Third National Games for the Disabled in Guangzhou. In 1994, he trained for the “Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled” (precursor of the Asian Paralympic Games) to be held in September in Beijing, but, just before the Games started, he was dismissed and sent away from Beijing because the cause of his disability was June 4. The authorities banned him from all international sports competitions for the disabled. He was kept under surveillance and illegally detained on several occasions.

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he was put under house arrest. In February 2009, he, his wife, and their child moved to San Francisco where he now heads of the San Francisco Chinese Democratic Education Foundation, serves as director of the San Francisco Humane China Organization, and is a volunteer for the June 4 Project.


Adi Ignatius

Adi Ignatius is Editor in Chief of the Harvard Business Review Group, where he oversees the editorial activities of Harvard Business Review, hbr.org, and HBR’s book-publishing unit.

Prior to joining HBR in January 2009, Mr. Ignatius was the No. 2 editor at TIME, where he helped oversee the week-to-week editing of the magazine and was responsible for many of TIME’s special editions, including the Person of the Year and TIME 100 franchises.

He is the editor of two books: President Obama: The Path to the White House and Prisoner of the State: The Secret Diaries of Premier Zhao Ziyang. Both made the New York Times Bestseller List.

Before working for TIME in New York, Mr. Ignatius lived for nearly 20 years overseas. He was the Editor of Time’s Asian edition. And, prior to that, worked for many years at The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones. His stints there included Beijing Bureau Chief, Moscow Bureau Chief, Managing Editor of the Central European Economic Review, and Business Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review.

Ignatius was awarded a Zuckerman Fellowship at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 1990. He received his BA in History in 1981 from Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He also attended Nankai University in Tianjin, China, in 1980, and later received an honorary degree from the University of Maryland’s Okinawa campus. Mr. Ignatius is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society and sits on the advisory boards of Levelwing, a digital-marketing company, and Foreign Affairs magazine.


William Kirby

William C. Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor. Professor Kirby serves as Chairman of the Harvard China Fund and served as Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies from 2006-2013.

A historian of modern China, Professor Kirby’s work examines China’s business, economic, and political development in an international context. He has written on the evolution of modern Chinese business (state-owned and private); Chinese corporate law and company structure; the history of freedom in China; the international socialist economy of the 1950s; relations across the Taiwan Strait; and China’s relations with Europe and America. His current projects include case studies of contemporary Chinese businesses and a comparative study of higher education in China, Europe, and the United States.

Before coming to Harvard in 1992, he was Professor of History, Director of Asian Studies, and Dean of University College at Washington University in St. Louis. At Harvard, he has served as Chair of the History Department, Director of the Harvard University Asia Center, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. As Dean, he led Harvard’s largest school, with 10,000 students, 1,000 faculty members, 2,500 staff, and an annual budget of $1 billion.

As Dean he initiated major reforms in undergraduate education in Harvard College; enhanced Harvard’s international studies at home and abroad; increased substantially financial aid in the College and in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; supported the growth of the Division (now School) of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and oversaw the construction of major new buildings in the Life Sciences, Engineering, and the Arts. During his tenure, the Faculty expanded at its most rapid rate since the 1960s.

Professor Kirby holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and (Dr. Phil. Honoris Causa) from the Free University of Berlin and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has been named Honorary Professor at Peking University, Nanjing University, Fudan University, Zhejiang University, Chongqing University, East China Normal University, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and National Chengchi University. He has held appointments also as Visiting Professor at University of Heidelberg and the Free University of Berlin. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Liane Lee

Liane Lee belonged to a delegation of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, who made two trips to Beijing to provide tents and medical supplies to the demonstrators. She witnessed the military crackdown and was rescued from the Square by local citizens on June 4 and left the city on an evacuation flight sent from Hong Kong on June 5. She lives in Cleveland Ohio with her husband and a daughter.


Roderick MacFarquhar

Roderick MacFarquhar is the Leroy B. Williams Professor of History and Political Science and formerly Director of the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research. His publications include The Hundred Flowers Campaign and the Chinese Intellectuals, The Sino-Soviet Dispute, China under Mao; Sino-American Relations, 1949-1971; The Secret Speeches of Chairman Mao; the final two volumes of the Cambridge History of China (edited with the late John Fairbank); The Politics of China 2nd Ed: The Eras of Mao and Deng; and a trilogy, The Origins of the Cultural Revolution. He was the founding editor of “The China Quarterly, and has been a fellow at Columbia University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Royal Institute for International Affairs. In previous personae, he has been a journalist, a TV commentator, and a Member of Parliament. His most recent, jointly-authored book on the Cultural Revolution entitled Mao’s Last Revolution was published by the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press in 2006.


Minxin Pei

Minxin Pei is the Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government and the director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College. Prior to joining CMC in July 2009, Pei was a senior associate and the director of the China Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

His research focuses on democratization in developing countries, economic reform and governance in China, and U.S.-China relations. He is the author of From Reform to Revolution: The Demise of Communism in China and the Soviet Union (Harvard University Press, 1994) and China’s Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy (Harvard University Press, 2006). Pei’s research has been published in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Modern China, China Quarterly, Journal of Democracy and many edited books. Pei is a frequent commentator on BBC World News, Voice of America, and National Public Radio; his op-eds have appeared in the Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek International, and International Herald Tribune, and other major newspapers. Pei received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. He was on the faculty at Princeton University from 1992 to 1998. Pei is a recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships, including the National Fellowship at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the McNamara Fellowship at the World Bank, and the Olin Faculty Fellowship of the Olin Foundation.


Claudia Rosett

Claudia Rosett is Journalist-in-Residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Currently based in Washington, D.C., she has reported over the past three decades from Asia, the former Soviet Union, Latin America and the Middle East. In recent years she has done groundbreaking reporting on the United Nations, especially U.N.-related corruption and U.N. dealings with despotic regimes.

Ms. Rosett writes a column on foreign affairs, “Freedom’s Edge,” for Forbes.com, contributes to a variety of other news outlets, makes frequent appearances on TV and radio, and has appeared before five U.S. Senate and House Committees and Subcommittees to testify on U.N. corruption. From 1984-2002 she was a staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, serving as a member of the Editorial Board in New York (1997-2002); reporter and then bureau chief in Moscow (1993-96); editorial-page editor of The Asian Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong (1986-93); and book review editor in New York (1984-86).

Ms. Rosett is a winner of the Journalism Leadership Eagle Award of the New York Respect for Law Alliance (2013); and the Eric Breindel Award (2005) and Mightier Pen Award (2005) for her reporting on corruption under the United Nations Oil-for-Food program. For her on-site coverage of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, Ms. Rosett won an Overseas Press Club Citation for Excellence. She holds a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. in English from Columbia University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.


Dan Southerland

Dan Southerland is vice president and executive editor of Congressionally-funded Radio Free Asia, which provides news and information to Asian listeners whose governments restrict the media.

From 1996 to 1998, Southerland oversaw the launch of RFA’s nine language services, as well as eight overseas offices. Prior to joining RFA, he spent 18 years as a foreign correspondent in Asia. From 1985 to 1990, he was The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Beijing. Southerland was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Tiananmen uprising and crackdown in 1989.

Southerland also worked for thirteen years for The Christian Science Monitor, based in Saigon, Hong Kong, and Washington D.C. He covered the Vietnam War, conflicts in Laos and Cambodia, the India-Pakistan War of 1971, the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, and the fall of Saigon.

From 1976 to 1985, he served as the diplomatic correspondent for the Monitor and traveled to more than 40 countries with five U.S. secretaries of state.

In 1995, he was awarded the Edward Weintal Prize for distinguished diplomatic reporting.

Southerland holds a BA from the University of North Carolina, an MS in journalism from Columbia University, and an MS in East Asian Studies from Harvard, where he studied Chinese and Japanese history and languages.


Shen Tong

Shen Tong is an entrepreneur, investor, writer/poet, social activist, and film buff.

Named one of Newsweek’s People of the Year in 1989, Shen Tong was one of the student leaders of the democracy movement at Tiananmen Square in 1989. He co-chaired the committee on dialogue with the government and helped organize the movement’s media campaign. Mr. Shen recalls dodging bullets on Changan Avenue on 4 June, when the Chinese military opened fire on the demonstrators. He went into hiding, but with the help of sympathetic Chinese citizens and government officials he was able to flee to the United States, where he became one of the first leaders to give an eyewitness account of the massacre. He went on to study in PhD programs in Sociology at Boston University, and Political Philosophy at Harvard University. Shortly after his arrival in the US, Mr. Shen founded a non-profit organization, the Democracy for China Fund, to support democratic movements in China and to promote political freedom and human rights. He published his first English book, the best selling Almost a Revolution in 1990, still in print after more than two decades, and used by numerous universities in the West and in Hong Kong; and had gone on as a prolific writer, serving as board member on Poets & Writers. Under the umbrella of Democracy for China Fund, he returned to China in 1992 on the faith of Deng Xiaoping’s assertion that overseas Chinese students would be welcome. He was, however, imprisoned for 54 days before being allowed to leave after a publicity drive in his favour was mounted as part of Bill Clinton’s election campaign in the United States. Mr. Shen became a media and software entrepreneur in the late 1990s, founding VFinity in 2004. In 2011, he was profiled in national and international news for his participation in the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and in 2012, he helped found Friends of Liu Xiaobo, an organization that works for the release of the 2010 Nobel laureate, his wife Liu Xia, and other Chinese prisoners of conscience.

Mr. Shen lives in New York City with his wife and three children. He has been an American citizen since 2001. Mr. Shen has just finished his first full length fictional novel, and is currently Visiting Scholar at Tisch School of Arts at New York University for the year 2014.


Arthur Waldron

Arthur Waldron graduated from Harvard in 1971 where, after several years of study in Asia, he also received his Ph.D in History in 1981. He was in China, though not in Beijing, at the time of the Tiananmen massacre, and left from Shanghai on a State Department evacuation flight. Since 1997 he has been the Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. Most of his writings touch questions of nationalism, both in China and in general, albeit indirectly. He is author, editor, or contributor to more than twenty books. He lives with his wife and two sons in Gladwyne, PA just north of Philadelphia.


Martin K. Whyte

Martin Whyte is John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Sociology at Harvard University. He did his graduate work at Harvard in the 1960s and joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology at Harvard in fall 2000, after previously teaching at the University of Michigan and George Washington University.

His primary research and teaching specialties are comparative sociology, sociology of the family, sociology of development, the sociological study of contemporary China, and the study of post-communist transitions. His recent writings reflect these divergent interests: an edited volume entitled Marriage in America: A Communitarian Perspective (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000) and an edited collection of papers drawing on a survey project that focused on relations between aging parents and their grown children in urban Chinese families, entitled China’s Revolutions and Inter-Generational Relations (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies, 2003). One newer research project involves surveys on Chinese popular perceptions of inequality trends and views about distributive justice issues. A pilot survey for this project was successfully conducted in Beijing in December 2000. A national survey focusing on inequality and distributive justice issues was completed in the summer of 2004. The results of the 2004 survey have been published in my book, Myth of the Social Volcano (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010) as well as in a number of recent articles (see Publications link). In the fall of 2009 colleagues and him directed a five-year follow-up national survey of Chinese Popular attitudes toward current inequalities. We will be using data from the new survey to examine whether recent trends, including the global financial meltdown, have made Chinese citizens more or less critical of the market-based inequalities within which they now live, Also, in 2006 he organized a conference at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies on the rural-urban gap in China, and he subsequently edited the resulting conference volume: One Country,Two Societies: Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).


Jeff Widener

Jeff Widener is an America photojournalist best known for his now famous image of a lone man confronting a column of tanks during the June 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising which made him a nominated finalist for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize.

During the night event of June 3, 1989, Widener was hit in the face with a stray protestor rock during a mob scene on the Chang’an Avenue. His Nikon F3 titanium camera absorbed the blow, saving his life. The “Tank Picture”, repeatedly circulated around the globe (except in China where it is banned), is now widely held to be one of the most recognized photos ever taken. America Online selected it as one of the top ten most famous images of all time.

From an early age, Jeff pursued his passion for photography and in 1974 while attending Reseda High School in California; he was awarded the Kodak/Scholastic National Photography Scholarship beating out 8000 students from across the United States. He later worked on daily newspapers in Indiana, Nevada, Florida and Hawaii. In 1981 at age 24 he joined United Press International in Brussels, Belgium as an overseas wire service photographer and from 1987-1995 he was the Associated Press Southeast Asia Picture Editor based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Through the years, Widener has covered major news stories in over 100 countries from the Gulf War to the Polish Solidarity movement, Khmer Rouge fighting in Cambodia, Pope John Paul II visit to Papua New Guinea and the 1988 and 1996 summer Olympics games to name a few. Other beats included Afghanistan, Cambodia, East Timor, Burma, Laos, Syria, Jordan, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Israel including the South Pole where he was the first photojournalist to transmit digital images on a news assignment. Widener has received numerous citations including the DART award from Columbia University, The National Headliner award, The Overseas Press Club, New York Press Club, Scoop award in France and he was the first non-Italian to win the Chia award in Italy.

Widener has held lectures at Ohio University, Utah State, The University of Hawaii and the Honolulu Academy of Arts. In addition, he has been interviewed by Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and Smithsonian Magazine. He has also been featured on various television and radio programs which include the BBC Television, MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show, NBC’s Caught on Camera, The CBS Sunday Morning Show, NPR Radio, RTE Ireland National Radio, The Huffington Post, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Widener currently freelances out of Hamburg, Germany.

Guoguang Wu

Guoguang Wu, currently Professor of Political Science, Professor of History, and Chair in China & Asia-Pacific Relations at University of Victoria, Canada, in the late 1980s served as a policy advisor on political reform and speechwriter for the Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang who stepped down due to his sympathy for the Tiananmen student movements in 1989 and then spent his late years under house arrest until his death in 2005. Wu himself was also purged following the June Fourth crackdown; he attended the Nieman Program at Harvard in 1989, then gained a Ph.D. in political science from Princeton in 1995. Author or editor of 21 books in either English or Chinese, he now teaches and does researches on Chinese politics and China’s foreign relations. Many of his publications are relevant to the 1989 events, including those on political reform prior to 1989, researches on Zhao and his political legacies, and introductions to both the Tiananmen dairy of Li Peng (Chinese Prime Minister in 1989 known as the “Beijing butcher”) and interviews of Chen Xitong (Mayor of Beijing in 1989). Wu also appears in the documentary of The Gate of Heavenly Peace as a major interviewee.


Fengsuo Zhou

Fengsuo Zhou was a key student leader who helped organize the great democratic movement in Tiananmen Square in 1989, while he was a physics student at Tsinghua University. He was elected to the Executive Committee of Beijing Independent Student Alliance after Li Peng declared martial law in 1989. He was Number 5 on the 21 most wanted list of student leaders after the Massacre in June 1989. After spending one year in prison, he was released in 1990 due to international support. He came to United States in 1995 after being denied a passport for years. He received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Business School in 1998.

In September 2000, Mr. Zhou was the leading plaintiff in a lawsuit by Tiananmen Massacre victims against Li Peng for his Crimes against Humanity in 1989. This was the first of many lawsuits in United States to sue the officials of Chinese Communist Party for their crimes.

He was President of the Chinese Democracy Education Foundation from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Zhou co-founded Humanitarian China in 2007 with the vision to develop a network of loosely connect grassroot NGOs to promote human rights and rule of law, and to provide humanitarian support to political prisoners in China. Humanitarian China channels humanitarian aid through independent writers, human rights lawyers, the groups of activists of 1989 Pro-Democracy Movement, and Christian Churches to hundreds of people in need, mostly prisoners of conscience who are neglected by the world. Cases of Humanitarian China include Fang Zheng’s family, Liu Xianbin’s family, and victims of the Sichuan Earthquake.


2012 Faculty Biographies