The Chinese Earth – Resources and Ecology

History 103F.002

Spring 2018
2303 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
W 12-2
Class Number: 

This course addresses, a historian's and a cultural geographer's perspective, the use of natural resources, including energy, in Chinese history, from imperial times until today. It offers insights into three different, but interrelated and interdependent processes of those periods: a) the agricultural traditions, water management and industrial production technologies; b) aspects of historical earth sciences, including early mapping and modern cartographic knowledge; c) the application of empirical knowledge to resource distribution and Chinese environmental ethics.

The course is designed to provide students with these basics tools: familiarity with the sources and tools that constitute this field of inquiry; introduction to (and the appropriation of) a terminology that allows for cross-references and comparisons with other civilizations and cultures; ability to question and critique the ideological and ethical framework governing western and Chinese concepts of “nature,” and the political dimensions of ecological management.

NO Chinese language is required to take the course, and the distinctively Chinese perspective will be developed through cross-cultural concerns.