China University of Politics and Law Professor Xiao Han （萧瀚）resigned his teaching post after lecturing his students on the “truth” of the military crackdown on democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Professor Xiao gave this lecture on Jan. 4, 2008 in classroom 307 of China University of Politics and Law. The title of the lecture–which he also published on his blog and referred to as “My Last Lesson”–is: “How Should We Lead Our Lives?” (While the essay is no longer on his Sina blog, it is already all over the Chinese blogosphere.)
Xiao Han (a.k.a. Ye, Jing) is from Tiantai, east Zhejiang province. He was Associate Professor at the Administrative Law Research Institute, School of Law, China University of Politics and Law in Beijing (until his recent resignation). His main teaching areas include the history of constitutional law and social theory. He is 38 years old; graduated from Peking University, where he earned his masters degree in 1998.
Here is a partial translation of Professor Xiao Han’s “Last Lesson” to his students entitled: “How Should We Lead Our Lives?” (Thanks to M.J. for the translation):
These are the contents from yesterday’s class, on the last day of this semester. I wrote these lecture notes beforehand, but I didn’t speak from them verbatim. I forgot some parts and spontaneously added others, which I did not include below. But what I spoke about in class fundamentally remains the same as the words below.
The last class: How do we live our lives?
To all those seated, good morning!
I have been at this university for four whole years, and have lectured for four years. Today is the last class of this semester. I have spent a wonderful seventeen weeks with everyone. Including today, it has been a total of
« Back to Article