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Ling Zhang

associate professor

Ling Zhang

Telephone: 617-552-3031

Office: Stokes Hall S357


Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Cambridge University, 2009

Fields of Interests:

Environmental, economic, and political history of pre-modern China, regional studies, political economy, political ecology, environmental justice, environmental philosophy and ethics

Academic Profile:

Ling Zhang was a Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment and a postdoctoral fellow in Agrarian Studies at Yale University.  Ling is an environmental-economic-political historian of premodern China. Her research interests include Chinese history, regional studies, political economy, political ecology, science studies, environmental justice, and environmental philosophy and ethics.  Author of The River, the Plain, and the State: Making a Yellow River Delta, 1048-1128 (2016), Zhang is currently preparing two book manuscripts, "North China during the Medieval Economic Revolution'' and "China's Sorrow or the Yellow River 's Sorrow: Environmental Biographies of a River Community."  As an associate researcher at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Ling organizes research seminars and conferences for the Center's "Environment in Asia" series.

Representative Publications:

  • The River, the Plain, and the State: An Environmental Drama in Northern Song China, 1048-1128. In the series "Studies in Environment and History," edited by John R. McNeill and Edmund R. Russell.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.  
    Winner of the 2017 George Perkins Marsh Prize as the Best Book in Environmental History from the American Society for Environmental History.
  • “Manipulating the Yellow River and the State Building of the Northern Song Dynasty,” in Nature, the Environment and Climate Change in East Asia, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut, ed. Carmen Meinhert (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming)
  • “Harmony or Disharmony: Traditional Chinese and Their Natural Environment,” in Demystifying China: New Understandings of Chinese History, ed. Naomi Standen (Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012)
  • “Ponds, Paddies, and Frontier Defence: Environmental and Economic Changes in Northern Hebei in Northern Song China (960-1127),” Journal of Medieval History 14.1 (2011)
  • “Changing with the Yellow River: An Environmental History of Hebei, 1048-1128,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 69.1 (2009)