Students who took the Tiananmen seminar in 2011 organized a class symposium to present their studies. The symposium was the subject of at least 14 media stories. For more information about Symposium 2011, visit the website here.
We are a group of freshman 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 even born in 1989, but we were brought together by the freshman seminar “Rebels with a Cause: Tiananmen in History and Memory” taught by Dr. Rowena He. From our short time together, we have studied the primary source materials of the Movement, heard personal accounts of student leaders 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 were around the same age as we are now in the middle of the movement. We have debated and questioned everything along the way.
This conference is our way of presenting our studies. There have been hundreds of Tiananmen conference in the past 22 years all over the world, but we are excited that for the first time we as freshmen are putting together a conference on the 1989 Tiananmen Movement. It is our hope that through this forum we may give a voice to those who were silenced and that voice will help keep the memory of June 4th alive. Our learning experience shows that with free access to information and free inquiry, young people can indeed explore history and make up our own minds about truths.
We would like to join the effort of a greater union of individuals across continents, language barriers, and political ideologies in building a world of freedom, peace and democracy for all people.
Michael Altman, Leslie Arffa, Peter Chase, Nathan Flores, William Hakim, Rebecca Kwan, Katrina Malakhoff, Gorick Ng, Annie Qin, Reed Simmons, Simon Thompson, Kevin Wu, Greg Yang, Jonathan Zhou
Freshman Seminar 46t, 2010
The Trend in Hong Kong features Harvard’s Tiananmen course and symposium in its May issue for the 22nd Tiananmen anniversary. It includes four pieces – a commentary by professor Wu Guoguang, an interview with Rowena He by professor Cheng Yinghong, opening remarks by professor Mark Elliott (translated by professor Guo Jian), and closing remarks by Professor Roderick MacFarquha (translated by Bao Pu, editor of Prisoner of the State: Zhao’s Secret Memoir).
April 22, 2011