Logic of Constructing and Maintaining the Grand Canal in North China: Jining’s Water Conservancy Projects,1289-1855
Sun Jinghao (Professor, School of Humanities, Zhejiang University; HYI Visiting Scholar)
Chair/discussant: Zhang Ling (Assistant Professor, History Department, Boston College)
Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
The Jining region of western Shandong experienced vast environmental change due to the construction, refurbishment and maintenance of a series of water conservancy works from the late thirteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. These hydraulic projects were designed to steadily remake local natural conditions to create a solid infrastructural foundation for the operation of the Grand Canal. Meanwhile, the state’s utmost will of Grand Canal transportation through these infrastructural works and their mechanical functioning interacted with local initiatives, as in the Jining region. The state confined the direction of regional geospatial and ecological transformation, and the drastic environmental changes affected institutions, groups and individuals in the specific political economic nexus, shown in local cultural and religious demonstrations.