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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail

E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 2
Chinese Democracy and Its Future

E-Seminar 3
Behind Red Walls: Changing Politics in China

A Series of Three E-Seminars
Tiananmen: June 1989 and Its Significance
Tiananmen: June 1989 and Its Significance
E-Seminar 1, The Roots of Crisis

Taught by: Andrew J. Nathan

E-Seminar Description
From one of the leading scholars of modern Chinese politics and human rights, this seminar is a look at the most important event in the movement toward democracy in China–this time, explained from the point of view of the government itself. This examination, based in part on a new understanding offered by the publication of hundreds of previously secret memos, minutes of meetings, and other internal documents, sheds light on the perspective rarely considered when discussing the events of June 1989 in China.

Later seminars in the three-part course will examine the history of the pro-democracy efforts spanning almost a century of Chinese history, and then will look at the impact that the events surrounding Tiananmen have had on Chinese politics since 1989.

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

Interested in this
Go to the e-seminar now*.

Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.

E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading |
Additional Course Information |Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Learn the perspective of Chinese leadership on events that are usually described from the opposing (student) point of view.

•    Understand the sequence of events that occurred at this important moment in modern Chinese history.

•    Gain a general appreciation for the official rhetoric of the Tiananmen Square crisis.

•    Appreciate the place of the Tiananmen Square uprising in the pro-democracy movements of 1989 worldwide.

•    Examine the impact of Tiananmen Square on China's relationship with the world.

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1. Backdrop to Tiananmen
2. Beijing Spring
3. The Tiananmen Papers
4. Internal Consequence of Tiananmen
5. Tiananmen and the World
6. Aftermath of Tiananmen

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Andrew J. Nathan is professor of political science at Columbia University. His publications include Peking Politics,1918–1923 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976); Chinese Democracy (New York: Knopf, 1985); Popular Culture in Late Imperial China, coedited with David Johnson and Evelyn S. Rawski (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985); Human Rights in Contemporary China, with R. Randle Edwards and Louis Henkin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986); China's Crisis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990); The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security, with Robert S. Ross (New York: Norton, 1997); China's Transition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997); The Tiananmen Papers, coedited with Perry Link (New York: Public Affairs, 2001); and Negotiating Culture and Human Rights: Beyond Universalism and Relativism, coedited with Lynda S. Bell and Ilan Peleg (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001). His current research involves collaborative survey-based studies of political culture and political participation in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Asian societies.

Born on April 3, 1943, in New York City, Professor Nathan received his degrees from Harvard University: the B.A. in history, summa cum laude, in 1963; the M.A. in East Asian regional studies in 1965; and the Ph.D. in political science in 1971. He taught at the University of Michigan in 1970–71 and at Columbia University since 1971. He has held a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and others. He served as director of the East Asian Institute, 1991–1995, and director of graduate studies in the Political Science Department since 1997.

Professor Nathan was chair of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch, Asia, 1995–2000, and continues to serve on this committee and on the board of Human Rights in China. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Democracy, The China Quarterly, The Journal of Contemporary China, and China Information, among others. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Association for Asian Studies, and the American Political Science Association. He does frequent interviews for the print and electronic media, has advised on several film documentaries on China, and has consulted for business and government.

The East Asian Institute is Columbia University's interdisciplinary center for research and teaching on modern East Asia. Its faculty members conduct individual and group research projects.The Institute awards a certificate in East Asian studies to students enrolled in the university's various graduate programs.

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Recommended Reading
Gilley, Bruce. Tiger on the Brink: Jiang Zemin and China's New Elite. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Han Minzhu and Hua Sheng, eds. Cries for Democracy. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1990.

Link, Perry. Evening Chats in Beijing: Probing China's Predicament. New York: Norton, 1992.

Nathan, Andrew J. China's Crisis. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

Nathan, Andrew J. and Perry Link, eds. The Tiananmen Papers : The Chinese Leadership's Decision to Use Force Against Their Own People - In Their Own Words. New York: Public Affairs, 2001.

Schell, Orville. Mandate of Heaven: The Legacy of Tiananmen Square and the Next Generation of China's Leaders. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.

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Additional Course Information
Who should take this course? Sinophiles; international-affairs enthusiasts; political activists; history buffs; teachers of history, East Asian history, world history, social studies, and political science; lifelong learners.

Reading assignments: There are no required reading assignments in this course, though Professor Nathan has recommended a number of books for those who wish to pursue the course topics further.

Taking the seminar: The content of this seminar is delivered entirely on the Internet. You may access this content and participate in discussions at any time during which the course is open. There are no set times you must be online.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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