The Tiananmen Tragedy of June 1989 is significant not just for humanitarian but also for historical
and political reasons. It is a humane obligation to recall those who lost their lives and those who
continue to suffer under its shadow. Analysis of the forces that brought it about, and the forces that
issued from it, requires confrontation of questions of crucial importance to understanding the PRC's
development over the last three decades--as well as of outsiders' reaction to and entanglement with
that development. A broad group of China scholars and other specialists involved in the study of the
PRC is urging centers for China Studies (including the so-called Confucius Institutes) to use this
occasion to discuss issues of democracy, human rights and social justice with reference to the PRC.
These issues are pertinent to the contemporary world in general. They include especially issues of
complicity in the perpetuation of human rights abuses of outsiders involved with oppressive regimes
in some capacity or other that have been dramatized by the recent American Studies Association
decision to boycott universities in Israel.
- Arif Dirlik, Independent scholar, Eugene, OR(Knight Professor of Social Science, UO, 2001-2006)
Tiananmen Massacre Presentation