Expelling Locusts in Late Imperial China: Environmental Governance, Statecraft, and the Creation of the Public Good (1100-1850 CE)


American Research in the Humanities in China


Department of History


My study draws on an extensive volume of quantitative/qualitative data available in Chinese sources to build a composite picture of the impact of locust infestations on Late Imperial society and culture. Examining the intersections between regional environments, the advent of new entomological understandings of locust biology, and the evolution of “statecraft” thinking, this study offers fresh insights into the environmental dimensions of state-society relations in Chinese history. Through an examination of the global dissemination of Chinese locust control techniques through Jesuit networks, this project also enters into the larger and as yet, under developed discussion regarding the westerly flow of information and statecraft knowledge from China to Europe in the Early Modern world.