Jesse Rodenbiker

Ph.D. Candidate; M.A. Asian Studies, University of Oregon 2013; B.A. Philosophy, University of Notre Dame 2006
Political Ecology, Development, Cultural Geography, Urbanization, Environmental Politics, Ethnography, Human-Nature Relations, Landscape

189 McCone

Office hours: Wednesdays 2-3 p.m. (Fall 2017)


Jesse’s research focuses on the cultural production of ecological modernity, political economies of urban governance, and rural-urban transitions in the era of China’s ecological civilization building. Through grounded research in Southwest China’s Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces he explores how projects of ecological modernization reconfigure rural-urban spaces, practices and experiences, as well as how the science of ecology informs the cultural politics of nature, socio-ecological change, and the economic geographies of a rapidly transforming China. His research intersects critical science and development studies, the political economy of land and environmental governance, and the spatial politics of rural-urban transitions.

His work is supported by the Fulbright-Hays DDRA Program, the Social Science Research Council, the Institute for International Studies, the Confucius China Studies Program, the IEAS Center for Chinese Studies, and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships.

Biography and Interests

Jesse graduated from the University of Notre Dame’s Philosophy department in 2006. After which, he worked in China and Thailand for five years in journalism and with a number of NGOs. While completing his M.A. in Asian Studies at the University of Oregon in 2013, he worked with the Sustainable Cities Initiative China programs. At Berkeley, he served as the Liaison for the Institute of East Asian Studies’ Center for Chinese Studies. And from 2016-2017, he did collaborative research as a Visiting Scholar at Sichuan University’s School of Public Administration.

He enjoys surfing, climbing and artwork with his daughter.


Superscribing Sustainability: The Production of China’s Urban Waterscapes. UPLanD-Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design 2.3 (2017): 71-86.

迈向解放的人类世:气候变化与你的选择. 《人与自然》11月2015

Towards an Emancipatory Anthropocene: Climate Change and Everyday Life. Human and Nature, November, 2015

全球化的克什克腾:打造世界地质公园的空间特殊性.人与自然》9月 2015

Globalizing Heshigtan: The Spatial Anomalies of Making a Global Geopark. Human and Nature, September, 2015

Green Energy Development: Stronger With Age, Translated Chapter in Huigui, 《回归》 by Wu Xijiu, (Forthcoming)

Wwoofers of the World Unite, Yunnan Magazine《云南杂志》Spring 2010

A Long Way to Go, Yunnan Magazine, 《云南杂志》 Fall 2009

Courses Taught as Graduate Student Instructor

GEOG 10: Worldings: Regions, People, and States. Jake Kosek (Fall 2017)

GEOG 164: The Geography of Chinese Economic Development.  You-tien Hsing (Spring 2015)

DS-10/GEOG 32: Introduction to Development Studies: Poverty, Human Development, and Globalization. Michael Watts (Fall 2014)

HIST 192 Japan: Past and Present. Jeffrey Hanes Spring (Spring 2013)

HIST 191 China: Past and Present. Ernst Schwintzer (Winter 2013)

HIST 190: Foundations of East Asian Civilization. Andrew Goble (Fall 2012)