Environmental China

Launching a groundbreaking research project on the environmental humanities and social sciences in China.

With the launch of the Harvard Global Institute to support research on environmental challenges in China, the Fairbank Center is primed to be at the forefront of environmental humanities and social sciences research.

This year, Professor Karen Thornber’s project, “Humanistic Ecologies and China: New Perspectives on Environmental Health and Climate Change” received seed grant funding from Harvard President Drew Faust to lay the groundwork for a three-year project under the Harvard Global Initiative. The project will bring a new perspective to Harvard’s existing interdisciplinary approach to climate change.


karen thornber
karen thornber

Karen Thornber

Professor of Comparative Literature and of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; Victor and William Fung Director, Harvard University Asia Center; Chair, Harvard University Council on Asian Studies; Director, Harvard Global Institute Environmental Humanities Initiative.

Karen Thornber’s primary areas of research and teaching are world literature and the literatures and cultures of East Asia, particularly Japan, as well as the Indian Ocean Rim.

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Harvard University Asia Center | CGIS South S222 | 1730 Cambridge Street | Cambridge, MA 02138
ali malkawi
ali malkawi

Ali Malkawi

Professor of Architectural Technology, Founding Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities

Malkawi is an international scholar and expert in building simulation, energy conservation, and sustainability in buildings. He teaches architectural technology and computation and conducts research in the areas of computational simulation, building performance evaluation, and advanced visualization at the HarvardRead More

Harvard University Center for Green Buildings and Cities | 20 Sumner Road | Cambridge, MA 02138
Michael McElroy
Michael McElroy

Michael McElroy

Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies

Michael McElroy studies changes in the composition of the atmosphere with an emphasis on the impact of human activity. His research includes investigations of processes affecting the abundance of ozone in the stratosphere and factors influencing the chemical composition ofRead More

Harvard Paulson School | Pierce Hall | 29 Oxford Street | Cambridge MA, 02138
Victor Seow
Victor Seow

Victor Seow

Assistant Professor of the History of Science

Victor Seow is a historian of technology, industry, and the environment who specializes in China and Japan in the long twentieth century. His work is primarily concerned with the social and economic dimensions of technological development and environmental management inRead More

Science Center, Room 371 | 1 Oxford Street | Cambridge MA 20138

Research Projects

Harvard Global Institute Environmental Humanities Initiative

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Artful Retreat: Garden Culture of the Qing Dynasty
China 2035
Harvard China Fund, Landscape and Ecological Urbanism

Latest News

Fairbank Center Talks at AAS 2018

The 2018 Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference is in Washington D.C. this year, and as usual the Fairbank Center will be well-represented on a wide-range of panels. Below are panels featuring our faculty and current Harvard Ph.D. Candidates working on China,...

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Spring 2018 Courses on China

FRESHMEN SEMINAR FRSEMR 61M: The Silk Road as History, Culture, and Politics Mark Elliott Description:In 1923, Harvard’s Fogg Museum of Art sought to add to its collections by sending Langdon Warner, the University’s first professor of Asian art, on an expedition to...

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Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies