Cornell University

CCCI: Rural communities, incipient urbanism in ancient China

Monday, September 9, 2019 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Goldwin Smith Hall, 64
232 East Ave, Central Campus

The Cornell Contemporary China Initiative (CCCI) is excited to start its new thematic approach to our lecture series beginning this fall with the theme of CHINA'S RURAL-URBAN INTEGRATION.

Our first lecture is titled: Rural Communities, Incipient Urbanism, and Environmental Consequences in Early Anthropocene China (5000 to 2000 years BP) and will be given by Professor TR Kidder, Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis. Hosted by CCCI director, Professor Robin McNeal, the lecture series corresponds with 4 credit course Asian Studies 3389.

Abstract: One definition of the Anthropocene epoch is when humans come to rival the “great forces of nature.” In ancient China, we see a critical environmental transition ca. 5000-3000 years before present (BP); over this period, the human footprint on the landscape becomes increasingly large and consequential. One element of this shift towards an early Anthropocene is growing population concentrations and an increasing divide between rural and urban communities. These trends accelerate through time, such that by 3000-2000 years BP, the ancient Chinese were rivaling nature in transforming their environment. Using case studies from sites in modern Henan, I trace the evolution of the early Anthropocene and argue that this is an outcome of shifts in political economy, not natural process such as climate change.

More about TR Kidder:

TR Kidder is the Edward S. and Tedi Macias Professor and Chair, Anthropology, Professor of Environmental Studies as well as the Director of the Geoarchaeology Laboratory at Washington University of St. Louis.

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type



Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, The Society for the Humanities, Anthropology, Asian Studies, City and Regional Planning, East Asia Program, Global Learning, International Programs, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS), Asian & Asian American Center, Global Cornell, China and Asia-Pacific Studies, Cornell China Center, Environment and Sustainability, Society for the Humanities



Cornell Contemporary China Initiative
Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Amala Lane

Contact Phone



TR Kidder

Speaker Affiliation

Washington University in St. Louis

Dept. Web Site

Disability Access Information

wheel-chair accessible; other accessibility needs addressed with advance notice

Open To


Recent Activity