This course invites students to assess China's rise from an environmental perspective. Since the founding of PRC, China has transformed the natural landscape through the accelerating extraction of resources to facilitate the country's pursuit of power and wealth. While China redirected its rivers, levelled its mountains, and cultivated expanses of barren land, a set of cultural expressions also emerged to compel, reflect, and document the environmental changes and their impact on human life. Focusing on Chinese fictions and films, this course investigates rural industrialization, infrastructural construction, species extinction, air pollution, and toxic waste. Students will discuss cultural materials together with critical scholarship that bridges humanistic analysis and environmental concerns in lived experience. Interdisciplinary in nature, this course equips students with a fresh eye to understand the environment not only as an issue for government leaders, engineers, or scientists but also a platform for cultural contestation that problematizes state policy, everyday lifestyle, labor management, and consumption habits. Students will have the chance to develop creative projects (i. e. podcasts or video essays) to articulate their ideas. All class materials will be available in English. No prerequisites for knowledge of environmental humanities or Chinese history.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Eth; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; UC CD
Topics in Chinese Literature & Culture: The Cultural Lives of the Environment in China, 1949-Present