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Here's a state of things
Local Ecologies
Grand Histories
Modern Predicaments
What next?

Local Ecologies
Grand Histories
Modern Predicaments
What Next?

Readings for Unit 1: Here's a State of Things

Tuesday, March 29
In order to introduce you to the relationship between people and the environment in 21st-century China, you should do two things, and it's best if you do them before the start of the first class:

First, acquaint yourself with what's now the best source for environmental news from China. Browse a few articles, and it would be a good idea to subscribe: Second, read the following:
  • The draft introduction to my book-in-progress, An Ecohistory of People's China.
  • The first two chapters of Shapiro's China's Environmental Challenges, "Introduction: the Big Picture," and "Environmental Challenges: Drivers and Trends."
Come to class ready to discuss the view of environmental problems in China that you have gained from any contact you have had with the subject so far, including the above readings.

For the last part of today's class, we will look at the basic geography of China in terms of the relationship between population, land, food, water, and forests. To begin with, you need to acquaint yourself with the geography and history of China in terms of facts. We will thus go over a list of facts upon which you will take a quiz on April 21, as well as explain in basic geographic terms the reasons why China's population and subsistence activities are distributed the way they are.

Thursday, March 31
Today we will have three visitors, Professor Jenny Chio, anthropologist and filmmaker from Emory University, and Chinese film scholars Chen Xueli and Li Xin, who will show two environmentally-related films from Tibetan areas in west China, Yak Dung and one about water. You will have an opportunity to discuss these films, and the ways that they relate to environmental issues in China, with the visiting scholars.