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Rivers as Method: Environmental Approaches to History and Society in Japan
November 11, 2019 - 14:00-16:00
Rivers have been important in Japanese history. From ancient rice production and castle building, to concrete dams and the modern water infrastructure, the governance of rivers have shaped Japanese society. While geology and climate are powerful determinants of destiny, so too are the institutions, technologies, knowledge, ethical codes, and cultures that have developed as a result of humanity’s interaction with water — perhaps the most important chemical compound for human life. In modern times, pollution, loss of habitat, flooding, land-use change, and lack of waterfront accessibility have all contributed to the removal of rivers from everyday consciousness and public discussions.
The seminar will feature two talks with Dr. Takehiro Watanabe and Dr. Mikiko Sugiura that will discuss changes to rivers as a part of a larger social-ecological transformation in Japanese society.
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