Jan 22, 2019  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog
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HIS 1149 - Hydraulic China: Water, Culture & Society

Credits: 2
Why has the Grand Canal been maintained for thousands of years? What materials are used to construct seawalls? How have intertwined sluicegate-and-dam irrigation systems molded and remolded local terrains? Water is the source of life. Due to unequal distribution of water resources, China has developed into a hydraulic society. The hydraulic projects such as the Grand Canal, coastal seawalls and irrigation systems maintain and control Chinese economy and society. These large-scale water projects have carved China’s environment, shaped local cultural landscapes and social terrains and formed Chinese views on the dynamic relations between water and humans. In this course, students will travel to the regions along the Grand Canal to explore environmental, political and cultural aspects of China’s hydraulic society. We will visit ancient canal sites (Beijing and Zhenjiang), explore existing sluicegate-and-dam systems (Hangzhou, Wuhu, and Shanghai) and examine seawalls and tidal bores (Haining) to understand our complete
dependence on water and political/social debates over hydraulic projects in China.
McDaniel Plan: January Term



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