HIST E-1842. East Asian Environments: China, Japan, Korea


  • Professor: Ian J. Miller
  • Term: Spring
  • Time: On demand
  • School: Harvard Extension School
  • Course ID: 25798

The future is not what it used to be. Nowhere is this more evident than in the natural world, where climate change and fading biodiversity, energy anxieties, and environmental disasters have undermined the bedrock of history: the assumption of a stable continuity between past, present, and future. This courses visits East Asia—China, Japan, and the Koreas, vibrant economies and agents of historical change—to explore the transformation of the environment in modern times. We analyze nuclear power plants and cruise rivers, explore some of the world's most lethal landscapes and debate public policy as we define Asia's role in the global environmental future. This is a course on East Asia's modern environmental history. The course is centered on three modules, each focused on a key site or event: China's Three Gorges Dam; Japan's "triple disaster" of March 11, 2011 (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis); and Korea's demilitarized zone (DMZ), a de facto nature preserve that also defines a fraught political border.