2016, 2018, 2020
Brian G. Lander
- Assistant Professor
- Brown University
Administrative Documents from the Three Kingdoms State of Wu Excavated at Zoumalou, Changsha
This workshop will explore the importance of the Zoumalou texts for understanding the economic, social, environmental and legal history of the Central Yangzi region in the two decades following the fall of the Han Dynasty.
The Wood Age in Asia: Comparative Perspectives on Forest History in China
This conference aims to bring together scholars of China and other regions of Asia to discuss the notion of a "wood age" - a period prior to industrialization when wood was the primary material basis of society. Using perspectives from social and cultural history; archeology and paleoecology; and the histories of art, architecture, science, and medicine, this conference will address the wide range of ways that people interacted with forests. While China is at the heart of our conversations, we will also include research from South and Southeast Asia. These dialogues will help move forest history beyond the early focus on deforestation while offering an environmental critique of Asian history and correcting the current Eurocentric bias of forest history.
From Wetland to Farmland: the Ecological Transformation of the Central Yangzi Lowlands
The Yangzi River lowlands were once among the world's largest wetlands and a center of biodiversity, but are now mostly rice fields and carp ponds. This multidisciplinary book project reconstructs the changing ecology of the central Yangzi wetlands, which lie between Hubei and Hunan, from the domestication of rice to the construction of the Three Gorges dam. Water control lies at the heart of the story. Since these seasonal wetlands are dominated by the flood pulse of the summer monsoons, farmers and administrators had to build and maintain dikes to keep out the water. The book's chapters will cover natural ecology, prehistoric societies, early Chinese empires, the Ming-Qing population boom, and the modern infrastructure of the People's Republic of China.