China’s environmental issues to be explored

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Talk is part of URI’s Honors Colloquium, China Rising

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 4, 2007—Judith Shapiro, director of the Global Environmental Politics Program at the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C., will explore environmental issues in Asia during a talk at the University of Rhode Island. The talk, free and open to the public, will be held Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science Center, 10 Chafee Rd., Kingston.

Her visit is part of URI Honors Colloquium, China Rising. The semester-long series explores China’s dramatic transformation during the past three decades, a transformation that has returned that country to the leading role it has played throughout most of world history.

Shapiro’s talk, “As China Goes, So Goes the Planet: China’s Environmental Challenges in International Context,” will focus on the trans-boundary implications of China’s severe environmental problem. She will explore how cultural and historical factors help explain why these problems are so difficult to resolve.

Shapiro first visited China in 1977, and two years later returned to live and teach as one of the first 40 Americans to live in China after the normalization of U.S.-China relations. She taught English at Hunan Teachers College for two and half years, where she met her husband, a Chinese literature student. Along with her husband, Shapiro has written a number of books about the Mao years, including Son of the Revolution, After the Nightmare, and Cold Winds Warm Winds. Her most recent book is Mao’s War Against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China. Her current research is on how China’s national identity affects the country’s prospects for achieving sustainable development.

Shapiro is also a professor at American University, teaching courses on environmental politics, Asia, and cross-cultural communication. She graduated from Princeton University and has advanced degrees from the University of California at Berkley, the University of Illinois at Urbana, and American University.

Major sponsors of the colloquium are the Mark Ross ‘64 and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, the Tom Silvia ’83 and Shannon Chandley ’83 Honors Colloquium Endowment, URI’s Honors Program, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Confucius Institute at URI, College of Business Administration, College of Engineering, and the Division of University Advancement.

For further details on the colloquium, including an updated schedule, information on parking, and on how to support the series, go to or call Deborah Gardiner at 401-874-2381.