David Pietz

About David Pietz

David Pietz is Professor of Chinese History in the Department of History, and Director of the Global Studies Program at the University of Arizona.  He also holds the UNESCO Chair in Environmental History.  Dr. Pietz’s research on the environmental history of modern China has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute for Advanced Studies (Princeton).  Dr. Pietz’s courses at the UA include Modern China, Modern East Asia, East Asian Environmental History, Introduction to the Study of History, and Dimensions of Globalization.

Areas of Study

Modern China, Modern China’s Environmental History, History of Technology

Research Interests

My research focuses on the environmental transformations of modern China (primarily the 20th Century).  My particular focus is on the management of water after 1949, and the environmental outcomes of management regimes.  My publications in this realm include. The Yellow River: The Problem of Water in Modern China (Harvard 2015), and Engineering the State: The Huai River and Reconstruction in Nationalist China (Routledge 2002).
 
Currently, I am working on several projects.  The first is a completion of a trilogy of sorts on the history of China’s major rivers (having written on the Yellow River and the Huai River previously).  This project focuses on the Yangtze River, and this time I stick my head under water to examine how the story of the extinction of the Baiji dolphin (presumed extinct in the 2000s) reveals broad historical issues related to biodiversity, conceptions of animal life, and practices of conservation biology in China.  In addition, I am working on a single-authored survey of China modern environmental history (Cambridge) and a sourcebook on the global history of water (Palgrave). The following is a list of my most recent publications:
 
Landscape Change and Resource Utilization in East Asia: Perspectives from Environmental History (Routledge, 2018) (co-edited with Liu Ts’ui-jung and Andrea Janku).
 
The Yellow River: The Problem of Water in Modern China (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015).
 
     Above, translated into Chinese: 黄河之水: 蜿蜒中的现代中国 (北京: 中国政法大学出版社, 2017); 
 
Engineering the State: The Huai River and Reconstruction in Nationalist China (Routledge, 2002).
 
     Above, translated into Chinese: 工程国家:民国时期的淮河治理及国家建设 (南京:江苏人民出版社, 2011)
 
State and Economy in Republican China: A Handbook for Scholars, 2 vols. (Harvard University Asia 
Center, 2001) (co-editor with James Shih, William Kirby, and Lin Manhong).
 
“The Geography and Environment of China,” The Sage Handbook of Contemporary China (Sage, 2018).
 
“Writing the 20th Century History of Water on the North China Plain,” in Ts’ui-jung Liu, Andrea Janku, and David Pietz, eds., Landscape Changes and Resource Utilization in East Asia: Perspectives from Environmental History (Routledge, 2018).
 
“China’s Water Challenges: National and Global Implications,” Education About Asia 22:2 (Fall 2017).
 
"The National, Regional, and International Dimensions of China’s Water Crisis" in Michael Wills and Bob 
Hathaway, eds., Rethinking Asian Security: New Threats for a New Century (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2013).
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Contact Information

David Pietz
Professor, Director of the Global Studies Program
Telephone: 520-621-1841
Fax: 520-621-2422
Office: CHVZ 319E
Office Hours: T/Th 12 - 2 PM (Spring 2019)
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Contact Us

Department of History
César E. Chávez Bldg.
Main Office, Room 415 
1110 James E. Rogers Way
Tucson, AZ 85721

Email: history@email.arizona.edu
Tel: (520) 621-1586
Fax: (520) 621-2422