Course Home
Class schedule
E-mail the class

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

Local Ecologies
Grand Histories
Modern Predicaments
What Next?




THO 235, TTh 9:30-11:20

Instructor: Stevan Harrell
Office hours: Make an appointment; I'm flexible.
Phone: 543-9608 (But I'm hardly ever there)

Class Description
This class examines the history and current state of the environment in China from the perspective of interacting environmental cultures and ethics of the state and various local communities. Class sessions are mostly old-fashioned lectures, with some discussion and debate; you are encouraged to interrupt lectures with questions at any time.

Class Assignments
There are four types of assignments for this class:
  • Postings on the discussion board for selected classes. These are not graded, but they are required; you can only miss one and still pass the class.
  • A basic facts quiz, to be taken in class on Thursday, April 21. This will cover elements of Chinese geography and history that you will need in order to understand the class material. You must pass the quiz to pass the class; if you don't pass it the first time, you can retake it as many times as you need until you know the material.
  • Essays on four assigned topics, one each for units 2 through 5, due at 5:00 p.m. on Mondays April 18, May 9, May 23, and June 6. You must write three of the four essays. There is a choice of three or four topics for each assignment. The essays should be between 1500 and 2000 words long, and will be graded on the use of empirical material, the logic of argument, and the use of language. If you are not a native English speaker, please indicate that on your first essay. Essays will count a total of two-thirds of your grade.
  • Reviews of the books by Sturgeon, Tilt, and Hathaway, due April 11, May 16, and May 30. These should be critical reviews, not just summaries of the contents of the books; you can look at book reviews in any scholarly journal on line to find models. They should be 500-800 words long, and will be graded on critical insight, logic of presentation, and use of language. Again, please indicate if you are not a native English speaker. Book reviews will count a total of one-third of your grade.
Books and Other Readings
There are four required books for this class:

China's Environmental Challenges, by Judith Shapiro
Border Landscapes, by Janet Sturgeon
Dams and Development in China, by Bryan D. Tilt
Environmental Winds by Michael Hathaway

Class readings are from these books and from internet links accessible directly from this course web page.