Environing at the Margins: Huanjing as a Critical Practice
This chapter sketches a field of Chinese Environmental Humanities (CEH). It first outlines the context for the emergence of CEH. Second, it introduces scholarly CEH activities in China and beyond to a global audience. Third, it provides Chinese critical vocabularies and viewpoints. Two keywords, ziran (spontaneity/“self-so-ing” or “nature”) and huanjing (“territory-making” or “environing”), complement each other: while ziran is employed to develop a nondualistic ecological thought, huanjing is reconceptualized as a mode of EH critical inquiry that delves into different cultural, narrative, or aesthetic modes, and politics of environmental inclusion and exclusion. Lastly, it briefly describes each chapter and explains how they engage the huanjing discourse with a correlating “ethics at the margins” that questions the past and present “normative dimensions of current environmental practices.”
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