Environmental History of China

Subject code


Course Number



W. Chaney

Course Long Title

Environmental History of China

Cross Listed Courses


This course investigates the deep historical roots of China's contemporary environmental dilemmas. From the Three Gorges Dam to persistent smog, a full understanding of the environment in China must reckon with millennia-old relationships between human and natural systems. In this course students explore the advent of grain agriculture, religious understandings of nature, the impact of bureaucratic states, and the environmental dimensions of imperial expansion as well as the nature of kinship and demographic change. The course concludes by turning to the socialist "conquest" of nature in the 1950s and 1960s and China's post-1980s fate.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC], Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit


Departmental Course Attributes - Major/Minor Requirements

(History: East Asian), (History: Early Modern), (History: Modern), (History: Premodern)

INDS Program Relationship

IDES - ENVR Program

GEC This Course Belongs To


Class Restriction

Exclude First Years