On April 25, 2013, the AUM Confucius Institute sponsored a public lecture on Chinese history. Dr. Qiang Zhai, former dean of the Confucius Institute and current professor of history, spoke on the topic of “The Rape of Nanjing: Japan’s Hidden Crime during WWII.” The room, which can hold 120 students, was packed.
Dr. Zhai used newly discovered historical photos and evidence to describe what happened in Nanjing when Japanese troops occupied the city in December 1937. He explained why the Japanese massacre in Nanjing remained little-noticed in the West from the 1950s to the 1970s. He concluded his talk by discussing how historical memory is entangled with politics in contemporary China. After his presentation, Dr. Zhai answered questions from faculty and students.
The lecture was organized as part of AUM’s annual “Diversity Week”, designed to enhance campus awareness of multiculturalism. It represented the AUM Confucius Institute’s effort to raise its profile on campus and to integrate into the university.