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LRCCS Tuesday Lecture Series | “Treating One’s Neighbor Like a Gully” 以鄰為壑: Yellow River Management and the Environmental Ethics of the Chinese State

Ling Zhang, Associate Professor of History, Boston College
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Room 110 Weiser Hall Map
The ancient philosopher Mencius criticized the hydraulic specialist Bai Gui: “When dealing with floods . . . you, my sir, treat the neighboring state like a gully [by discharging water into it].” In this talk, Professor Zhang argues that the ethical choice Mencius disdained as something “detested by benevolent men” has dominated environmental management – especially management of the Yellow River – by Chinese Confucian states during the past two millennia.

Ling Zhang is Associate Professor in the History Department at Boston College. Professor Zhang received a BA in Humanities and History from Peking University and an MPhil and a PhD in Chinese Studies from the University of Cambridge. She was a Ziff Environmental Fellow at Harvard University Center for the Environment and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University. Her first book, The River, The Plain, and The State: An Environmental Drama in Northern Song China, 1048-1128 (Cambridge University Press, 2016), received the 2017 George Perkins Marsh Prize for the Best Book in Environmental History from the American Society for Environmental History. She is currently working on two book projects about political economy in middle-period China and political ecology of the Yellow River valley.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, Chinese Studies, History
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, International Institute, Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS), Science, Technology & Society, Asian Languages and Cultures