Course Code


Course Name

Environment and Society in China


Wednesday 2:30pm - 5:15pm


CKB 122


Prof. Pierre Miège

Teaching Assistant


Course Description

China’s environmental issues have raised global concerns. This English-taught, upper-level course invites students to examine the interrelations between environment and society in Greater China. After an introduction to Chinese environmental history, students will be invited to reflect upon human-nature relations in both historical and contemporary contexts. The second half of the semester engages students with case studies on issues ranging from agricultural industrialization, industrial pollution, foodways change, environmental hazard and health crisis, environmental infrastructure, to social protests and environmental NGOs, to understand environmental challenges facing local Chinese societies.

Course Outline

Week 1. Introduction: Environment and society

January 10 2024



Week 2. China’s environment: A historic perspective

January 17 2024


Week 3. Environment in Mao’s China

January 24 2024


Week 4. Environment in post-Mao China

February 31 2024


Week 5. Agricultural industrialization

February 7 2024


Week 6. No class (Chinese New Year)

February 14 2024


Week. 8 Environment and foodways

February 21 2024


Week 9. Industrialization and its consequences

February 28 2024


Week 10. Reading Week (No class)

March 6 2024


Week 11. Environment and health (1/2)

March 13 2024


Week 12. Environment and health (2/2)

March 20 2024


Week 13. Environment and community

March 27 2024


Week 14. Environmental infrastructures

April 3 2024


Week 15. Environment and governance

April 10 2024


Week 16. Environmental protests

April 17 2024

Assessment & Assignments

1. Class participation  30% 

2. Individual presentations of the week’s assigned readings  20% 

3. Term paper  50% 

Honesty in Academic Work

We encourage students to exchange ideas and share resources on assignments for this course. But you have to make sure that any written work you submit is the result of your own research and writing, reflecting your own understanding and thinking about a topic. The University adopts a policy of zero tolerance on academic dishonesty. “Any related offence will lead to disciplinary action including termination of studies at the University.” All students need to be familiar with the University’s policy on academic honesty, which can be found at:

In addition, students should also familiarize themselves with the University’s guidelines on the use of AI tools and exercise caution accordingly: