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Forests, Waters, and Cities: Approaches to the Environment in Japan and Global Contexts

CJRC Hybrid Japan Innovation Lab

An interdisciplinary symposium on the humanities and the environment in Japan and global contexts.  

As climate change, resource depletion, and the environment have moved from the margins to the forefront of our concerns in the twenty-first century, those of us engaged in the traditional humanities are increasingly compelled to rethink how we approach our various specializations and disciplines. Japan and China, the main focus of the symposium, present their own unique challenges. Often associated in the popular mind with ideas of living in harmony with nature, Japan and China also include some of the most engineered environments in the world. The symposium brings together scholars from across the humanities, including history, religion, and literature, in order to rethink established or traditional concepts and hopefully stimulate new approaches to talking about the environment in Japan, China, and their global contexts. 


PANEL ONE (10:00am)

Writing the Borneo Rainforest: Eco-poetic Sinophone Modernism
Brian Bernards, USC

Taking a Lot of Shit: The Political Economy of Nightsoil in 20th Century Beijing
Joshua Goldstein, USC

Japan's post-3.11 Grassroots Sustainability Movement: Ecovillages and Transition Towns
W. Puck Brecher, Washington State University-Pullman

Discussant: Anne McKnight, UCLA


PANEL TWO
 (1:00pm)

The Emergence of the Environmental Humanities
Ursula Heise, UCLA

Karma, Mount Sumeru, Atoms, and Plants: 'Nature' in Buddhist Doctrine and its Environmental Implications
Fabio Rambelli, UC-Santa Barbara

Discussant: Haruo Shirane, Columbia University


PANEL THREE (3:00pm)

A New Satoyama Discourse: Reinvented Cultural Interactions with Forests and Mountains in Japan
Masami Yuki, Kanazawa University

The Power of Place: Religion, Science, and the Environment in the Thought and Activism of Minakata Kumagusu (1867-1941)
Clinton Godart, USC

Weedy Places: Some Thoughts on the Imagination of Forests and Gardens in Japanese Literature
David Bialock, USC 

Please RSVP by email to Kana Yoshida cjrc@dornsife.usc.edu

Co-Sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the USC East Asian Studies Center