Human Rights and China

A symposium held March 6-7, 2008 at Claremont McKenna College

The symposium was co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights and the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum at Claremont McKenna College. The Gould Center engaged the following individuals to participate in the symposium:

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. Following that event, Dai was officially denounced by the Chinese government, jailed for ten months, and forbidden to publish in China. She currently resides in Beijing.

Roderick MacFarquhar: Harvard University professor, noted China specialist, and British politician. 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.

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.

Gloria Davies: Associate Professor at the School of Asian Languages and Studies at 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.

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.”

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 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").

Lindsay Waters: Executive Editor for the Humanities, Harvard University Press. Waters has published numerous books about China and Chinese intellectuals, as well as articles about the recent pressures on China’s intellectual and literary journals.