Rivers in Transition: Landscapes Along China’s Yellow River


For millennia, humans in what is now China have responded to the Yellow River—historically, one of the most dynamic river systems in the world—by damming and channelizing the river and managing ever larger populations along its course. Student enrolled in Rivers in Transition courses explored the interaction between water and humankind in the Yellow River Basin.

For millennia, humans in what is now China have responded to the Yellow River—historically, one of the most dynamic river systems in the world—by damming and channelizing the river and managing ever larger populations along its course. Students enrolled in Rivers in Transition courses explored the interaction between water and humankind in the Yellow River Basin, looking to myth, art, literature, political discourse, and hydraulic processes as guides. Paintings and literature provided narratives of the complex relationship, while maps and landforms revealed river conditions in the past.

In May/June 2017 and May/June 2019, students who had completed Rivers courses traveled to China. There, guided by members of Henan University’s Yellow River Institute and the Rivers co-directors, Sue Swanson (geology) and Daniel Youd (Chinese), they undertook field studies in collaboration with Henan University students.

To prepare for the field studies, completed at least two Rivers core courses, one from the humanities/arts or one from the social sciences AND one from the natural sciences. Chinese language study was encouraged for non-Chinese participants. The students also completed a .5 unit orientation seminar in the semester before the field studies.

An aim of the program was to encourage further study of China through interdisciplinary inquiry and language study.

Contacts:

Sue Swanson (geology) swansons@beloit.edu 608 363 2132

Daniel Youd (Chinese) youdd@beloit.edu 608 363 2081

Professor of Geology Susan Swanson studies Chinese culture along the Yellow River in China on a S...Professor of Geology Susan Swanson studies Chinese culture along the Yellow River in China on a Study Abroad program called Landscapes in Transition.

Beloit professors and students climb down a steep trail along the Yellow River in China during th...Beloit professors and students climb down a steep trail along the Yellow River in China during the Landscapes in Transition program.

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