Summer Institute for Chinese Studies
Ecological Civilization and Chinese Studies
June 1- June 4, 2020
Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh
The goal of the University of Pittsburgh’s Summer Institute for Chinese Studies is to provide early career scholars (PhD awarded since 2014) with intensive training in curriculum development and pedagogy to expand and strengthen Chinese studies. Last year’s Summer Institute (2019) focused on Science, Technology and Medicine. This year (2020), the committee has decided to focus on the theme of Ecological Civilization as considered by John B. Cobb, Philip Clayton, and Wm. Andrew Schwartz through their affiliation with the Institute of Ecological Civilization in California.
“Ecological civilization” has come to define a global approach to a sustainable, healthy, and equitable future. As a response to climate change, the realization of this ideal entails a radical transformation of deeply imbedded social, political, and cultural patterns of production and consumption that are intimately linked to unsustainable growth and development. As such, ecological civilization entails a fundamental change in thinking about the human condition in relation to the environment. It is a bottom-up approach to structuring society by considering what is best for the greater good. Defining the “Asian century” and the manifest challenges of global growth and development, China in the 21st century is at the leading edge of the future: the transformation of the ideals of ecological civilization into practice. The Chinese congress adopted the concept as a goal within its constitution in 2012 and included the goal in its five-year plan.
Schedule of public events
Monday, June 1
12:00 p.m.: Webinar 1 [ Register ]
Welcome, Joseph S. Alter, University of Pittsburgh
Making Ecology Developmental: A Global Geneology of China's Green Modernization, Jesse Rodenbiker, Cornell University and Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Rubber's Reach: How Chinese rubber investments transform landscapes, livelihoods, and state control in China and Laos, Juliet Lu, UC Berkeley
Discussion, Corey Byrnes, Northwestern University. Open forum Q/A.
2:00 p.m.: Webinar 2 [ Register ]
Geopiety and the Rights of Nature--Unmaking the ChinAmeriComplex, Christopher Coggins, Bard College at Simon's Rock.
Discussion, Jeffrey Nicolaisen, Duke University and Shiming Yang, University of Southern California. Open forum Q/A.
Tuesday, June 2
12:00 p.m.: Webinar 3 [ Register ]
Recap and overview, Ruth Mostern, University of Pittsburgh
Equality of Life: A Buddhist Teaching for an Ecological Civilization, Jeffrey Nicolaisen, Duke University
Rethinking the Nature-Culture Nexus in the Ethnic Rural Context of Southwest China, Luo Yu, City University of Hong Kong
Discussion, Emily Yeh, University of Colorado, Boulder. Open forum Q/A.
2:00 p.m.: Webinar 4 [ Register ]
Cemented River, Forced Migrants, and Rainbow Trout: A Multispecies Tale of the Xin'anjiang Hydropower Plant, Ling Zhang, Boston College.
Discussion, Jesse Rodenbiker, Cornell University, and Weila Gong, Technical University of Munich. Open forum Q/A.
Wednesday, June 3
12:00 p.m.: Webinar 5 [ Register ]
Recap and overview, James Cook, University of Pittsburgh
Segmenting the South: China and India in the HFC Negotiations, Shiming Yang, University of Southern California
"Elegant-Yet-Wild": An Interaction Between Nature and Culture in the Scholar's Studio, Yunshuang Zhang, Wayne State University
Discussion, Christopher Coggins, Bard College at Simon's Rock. Open forum Q/A.
2:00 p.m.: Webinar 6 [ Register ]
Imagined Islands and Coral Infrastructures, Corey Byrnes, Northwestern University.
Discussion, Shiming Yang, University of Southern California, and Meng Zhang, Loyola Marymount University. Open forum Q/A.
Thursday, June 4
12:00 p.m.: Webinar 7 [ Register ]
Recap and overview, Joseph S. Alter, University of Pittsburgh
Sustaining the Market: Forestry and Timber Trade in China, 1700-1930, Meng Zhang, Loyola Marymount University
Local Leadership in An Authoritarian State: The Boundaries of Local Authority in China's Low-carbon Energy Transition, Weila Gong, Technical University of Munich
Discussion, Ling Zhang, Boston College. Open forum Q/A.
2:00 p.m.: Webinar 8 [ Register ]
Natural infrastructure in China's era of ecological civilization, Emily Yeh, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Discussion, Juliet Lu, University of California, Berkeley, and Yu Luo, City University of Hong Kong. Open forum Q/A.