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.