Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment

Professor Bates:

Nature and the Environment in Japanese Literature and Film (Spring 2013)

  • This course explores the relationship between humanity and nature in Japanese literature and film. Though we will draw from earlier examples, the majority of the course will be focused on the modern era (post 1868). Some topics for exploration include: the role of animals in Japanese culture, nature as a reflection of the self, natural and industrial disasters, and nature in the imagination. As this is a seminar class, it will center on class discussions with evaluation based on participation, a final paper and a final presentation.

Professor Tom Arnold:

Plant Physiology (Spring 2013)

  • Tom Arnold’s Plant Physiology course includes a section on the Japanese art of bonsai cultivation, bringing together the friendly worlds of biology, anthropology, and history. The bonsai are kept and maintained in the Kauffman Hall Stafford Greenhouse.

Professor Zhaung Ke Lin

Climatology in East Asia (Fall 2013)

  • This introductory level course focuses on Quaternary climate change in East Asia (China, Korea, Japan) with special emphasis on the past 20,000 years. It is designed to be accessible to both science and non-science students and there are no prerequisites. Topics covered with include global and regional mechanisms of Quaternary climate change, climate change records retrieved from loess deposits, marine sediments, caves, sea level change, Himalaya uplift and East Asian monsoon evolution in the Quaternary. This course will explore climate change related to sustainable development in East Asia’s large river basins, such as the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers basins, and their impact on local populations.