Asian Ecocinema and Ecoliterature
Following decades of economic boom, continuing industrial development, and expansion of urbanization, many Asian countries, especially China and India, are now facing unprecedented environmental crises. The list of ecological woes in Asian countries include air, water, and soil pollution; flooding and drought, deforestation and desertification, epidemics of diseases, coal mine accidents, the loss of land to urban expansion, and mass migration. Asian ecoliterature and ecocinema, both in documentary and feature film form, have functioned as responses to, and critical reflection of, the urgent environmental crises, as well as broader cultural, historical, and social issues that caused environmental and ecological problems. Through critically examining the representative literary and filmic works, this course will 1) introduce students to ancient Asian concepts about Nature and critical events that have reshaped the historical course of development of the concerned countries; 2) demonstrate and explain primary themes presented in the ecocinema and literature, such as hydro-politics of air, water, forests and development; bio-ethics and green culture; eco-aesthetics and the representations of Nature; migration and urbanization. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.