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Art, Environment and Sustainability in East Asia

The course Art, Environment and Sustainability in East Asia critically explores the interface of visual arts and environmental history through a regional perspective encompassing Japan, China and Korea.

The course is cancelled during Spring semester 2022.

Celebrated for its traditional affinities with nature and praised for its advancement of green technologies but criticized for over-exploitation of resources, East Asia is one of the loci of contemporary sustainability discourse. At present this discourse goes beyond technological and policy studies and increasingly engages with perspectives from the Humanities.

Art, Environment and Sustainability in East Asia explores these recent epistemological developments heralded by the burgeoning field of the Environmental Humanities. Through eco-critical study of visual arts (architecture, painting, prints, public art, participatory art, design etc.) the course traces interactions between the human and the non-human worlds across history and diverse ecological, cultural, sociopolitical, and economic contexts in the region.

It focuses on environmental issues (pollution, waste, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, global warming etc.) while rethinking the nature-culture divide and connecting to broader theoretical frameworks of Orientalism, colonialism, nationalism, and globalization.

  • Course structure

    The course consists of one module, 7.5 credits.

    Teaching format

    Teaching is given in the form of seminars.

    Attendance at all teaching sessions is mandatory.

    Course planning and resources

    The course planning and resources for S22 can be found in the learning platform Athena.


    The course is examined on the basis of a written home exam.

    Fore more detailed information about examination and assessment, please see the course description. The course description is avalible one month before the course starts.


    Ewa Machotka

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
  • Contact

    Do you have questions about the courses in Japan's Language and Culture?

    Student Councelor:

    Director of Studies:
    Hanna Kritz
    Room 111, Kräftriket 4B
    Phone: 08-16 27 22