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Page history last edited by Bob Andrian 5 years, 10 months ago

Remembering Tiananmen at "25" and Its Legacies


June 4, 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square tragedy in China, sometimes known as "6-4" to those Chinese who remember the event. But does what happened during those fateful early morning hours in 1989 still really matter today? Indeed it does. The many legacies of "6-4," dark and not so dark, which we will investigate this fall, have been profound and have affected not just the Chinese, but the rest of the world. Of course, the Chinese Communist Party continues to be relentless in its repression of the memory of the brutal government crackdown in June, 1989. And yet, as the class also will explore, they are not alone among other nations that attempt to manipulate the past to do anything they want to do in the present.
Outline of Classes 1-8
I. Reflecting on the significance of the spring of 1989 at Tiananmen Square:
   Question: If you had to design a museum exhibition that commemorated the 25th anniversary of what took place at Tiananmen Square, what would you include in the exhibition?
II. Two examples of museum exhibits:
   A. Flag raising ceremony at 4 AM in the square 
   B. Hong Kong protests for democracy 
III. "Tank Man"


    A. Write a caption for the photo.
    B. Write a caption for the photo as you imagine the Chinese government (Public Security Bureau) would.
IV. Assessing the Tank Man image
    A. Frontline "Tank Man" program 
    B.  Gate of Heavenly Peace film 
    C. People's Republic of Amnesia Beijing student survey and defense of the CCP
    D. Chimerica, Guardian review (of Chimerica), Niall Ferguson on "Chimerica"
    A. Evan Osnos (Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China)
    B. World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report
    C. Interbrand 2013 Top 100
hong kong
    A. Comparisons with the May 4th, 1919 Movement
        1. New Culture Movement: Science and Democracy 
        2. Lu Xun and "Kong Yiji" 
        3. Anti-Japanese nationalism 
            a. 1919: student generated, desire for stronger state
            b. 1989: desire for a weaker state
            b. Today: government backed anti-Japanese protests
        4. Jonathan Spence historical context for Tiananmen protests in 1989
            a. Remonstrance: horse vs. deer story
        5. Nicholas Kristof on the inevitability of Tiananmen's legacy
        6. Roderick MacFarhquar on Deng Xiaoping's legacy (1997)
        7. Philip Cunningham on the anniversaries of June 4, 1989 ("6-4")
            a. 25th anniversary: Cui Jian's Tiananmen anthem/elegy
    B. Tiananmen symbolism ("hidden" Forbidden City vs. "open" Square) 
Zhongnanhai ("hidden" Party headquarters)

VI. Tiananmen's Legacy: The China Dream
           1. Why did the government use violence to solve a political problem?          
           2. The CPC leaders take stock of the events of June 3-4, 1989.
           3. "Tiananmen Mothers"
           4. What do the witnesses of Tiananmen tell their children?
IX. Historical Amnesia beyond China

Link to news and resources 

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