Event Detail

China and Human Rights Symposium

Thursday, March 06, 2008 - Friday, March 07, 2008

China and Human Rights

A Symposium sponsored by The Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies; The Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights; the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies; the Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children; and the Kravis Leadership Institute.

March 6 & 7, 2008


The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum
Claremont McKenna College

Participants include many experts on all manner of issues related to contemporary China:

Roderick MacFarquhar: Leroy B. Williams Professor of History and Political Science and former Director of the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University; noted China specialist; former Member of Parliament. Dr. MacFarquhar is the author of China Under Mao, The Forbidden City, The Secret Speeches of Chairman Mao, Mao’s Last Revolution (with Michael Schoenhals), and many other books. Note that Roderick MacFarquhar’s keynote address begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 7; a dinner (reservations required) will follow Dr. MacFarquhar’s talk.

Orville Schell: Former dean of the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Schell has written nine books on China. Schell’s articles have appeared in such publications as The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Newsweek. He has also served as a correspondent and consultant for several documentaries in the Public Broadcasting Service’s series, “Frontline.”

Dai Qing: A prominent journalist and activist, especially notable for her opposition to the Three Gorges Dam Project. Her many books include The River Dragon Has Come and Yangtze! Yangtze, banned after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. After Tiananmen, Dai was officially denounced by the Chinese government, jailed for ten months, and forbidden to publish in China. She currently resides in Beijing.

Gao ErTai: Branded a dangerous subversive in the Anti-Rightist movement in 1957, Chinese writer-painter-art critic ErTai Gao was arrested and sentenced to hard labor at a camp harboring what the regime had deemed to be dangerous dissidents. Granted a reprieve in 1962, Gao worked at the Research Institute of Cultural Relics in Dunhuang until 1966, when the Cultural Revolution again attempted to stifle writers and artists who had not received official benison. Following his arrest and 138-day incarceration after the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989, Gao fled the country, and has since worked in exile. Currently he is a visiting scholar at the University of Nevada's International Institute of Modern Letters. His essays on aesthetics and literature include Xunzhao Jiayuan ("In Search of My Homeland") and Tiechuang Bairi ("A Hundred Days Behind Bars").

Han Dongfang: A former railway worker, Han Dongfang helped establish, during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, the Beijing Autonomous Workers’ Federation (BAWF), the first independent trade union in the People’s Republic of China. For his activities, Han was placed on the Chinese government’s most-wanted list, arrested, and imprisoned for nearly two years. Upon his release in 1991, Han fled to the U.S. to undergo medical treatment for the tuberculosis he contracted during his incarceration. Upon his return to the PRC, he was arrested in Guangzhou, and deported to Hong Kong. Han continues his advocacy for workers’ rights—through the China Labor Bulletin he set up in 1994, through the interviews he conducts with workers on Radio Free Asia, and through Chinese- and English-language websites disseminating information about the CLB’s campaign for workers’ rights for freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Gloria Davies: Associate Professor at the School of Asian Languages and Studis, Monash University (Australia). Dr Davies has authored many books (including Worrying About China: The Language of Chinese Critical Inquiry; Harvard University Press, 2007) and articles on Chinese literature and thought, and lectured and participated in many conferences in Australia, China, and the U.S.

Wang Chaohua: As a graduate student in literature at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Wang participated in the central student committee and the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, activities which landed her on the Chinese government’s “21 Most Wanted Beijing Student Leaders” list. She spent six months in hiding before emigrating to the United States, where she has written extensively and authoritatively on contemporary Chinese intellectualism.

All are welcome to attend the panel discussions and the keynote addresses by Orville Schell and Roderick MacFarquhar. No reservations are necessary, except to attend the dinners on March 6 and 7 (CMC students, faculty, and staff may register on-line [http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/mmca] for the dinners).

The symposium will cover a broad range of topics—environmental, socio-economic, intellectual, artistic, and political.

For further information, see: http://www.cmc.edu/news/pressreleases/article.asp?article_id=957 and http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/gould/speakers/#Human_Rights_and_China

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