Judith Shapiro cv

JUDITH SHAPIRO     Shapiro@american.edu


Ph.D. (1999) American University (International Relations / Global Environmental Politics).

M.A.  (l979) University of California at Berkeley (Asian Studies).

M.A.  (l978) University of Illinois at Urbana (Comparative Literature).

B.A.   (l975) Princeton University (magna cum laude, Anthropology; Program in East Asian Studies; University Scholar).

Certificat d’Etudes (l970) Universite de Grenoble, France.

Current Academic Position:

Director, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development MA, School of International Service, American University.

Other Academic Affiliations and Courses Taught:

American University, School of International Service.  Environmental Security in Asia, Fall 2004. From Maoism to Market-Leninism, Fall 2003, Honors Seminar. Cross-cultural Communication, Fall 2002 (two sections), Spring 2003 (Honors), Fall 2003, Fall 2004, Spring 2007. “Global Environmental Politics in the Public Imagination,” Fall 2006. Washington Environmental Workshop/Advanced Studies and Research in Environmental Policy, Fall 2001 and every Spring 2002-2011. Contemplation and Political Change, Spring 2001, Spring 2002, Spring 2005, Spring 2006. Challenges of Political Transformation, Spring 2004.  Beyond Sovereignty, Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Fall 2001 (two sections each semester).  International Environmental Politics, Summer 1998. “China, Japan, and the US,” Fall 2006. Environment and Politics, Fall 2009-2016 (two sections), WRI Practicum to China and Peru, Spring 2013-2014, Environmental Politics of Asia, Spring 2012-2017, Freshman Seminar, Environment and Imagination, Spring 2015. Climate Change Communication Practicum for SF World Music, Spring 2017

Qinghua University, visiting professor, Schwarzman Scholars, Environment, Climate and Governance, December 2016-January 2017

University of Aveiro, MA Program in Chinese Studies.  Modern and Contemporary China, Winter 1998-99.  Chinese Society and thesis supervision, Fall 1999.  Thesis supervision, Sp. 2000 – Fall 2001.

Southwest Agricultural University, Environmental Protection Department (Chongqing, China).  International Environmental Issues, Fall 1998.

University of Pennsylvania, Lauder Institute, Wharton School.  History of China and Southeast Asia, Fall 1994 and 1995, Spring 1996 and 1997.

University of Pennsylvania, Sociology Department.  The Sociology of China: Witnesses, Spring l989, 1990, and 1991.  The Sociology of Survival: Cultural Revolution, Holocaust and Gulag, Fall l989.

Villanova University, Honors Program. Contemporary China, Spring  l99l.

The New School for Social Research, Graduate Faculty, Liberal Studies.  Bitter Love: Chinese Intellectuals and the State, Spring l988. The Chinese Cultural Revolution:  Witnesses, Fall l987.

Hunan Teachers’ University, Foreign Languages Department.  Western Journalism, American Literature, Contemporary English, Spring 1979 – Spring 1981. 

Academic Meetings, Public Lectures, and Media Appearances (Highlights):

Interview on National Public Radio: As Trump talks coal revival, China seeks props on the fuel’s decline, 2017

Panel Organizer and Presenter, Environmental Civil Society in Authoritarian Regimes, ISA, February 2017

International Conference on Environmental Governance in China, Ningbo, 2016

Yunnan Agricultural University,  China’s Environment Challenges, June 2016

Keynote speech: Empires of Water: Water Management and Politics in the Arid Regions of China, Central Eurasia and the Middle East (16th-20th centuries)” Hong Kong, May 2016;

Hamburg Germany, Institute for Social Research. “Prepare for War, Prepare for Famine”: Ecologic Effects of Chinese Economic Policy during Sino-Soviet Hostilities”, September 2009

UT Austin, Nation-building through Nature-conquest:  Resource-extraction and Identity on China’ Frontiers” April 2009;

Presenter, conference on Ecological Migration, Kunming, China (June 2009). “The Lakota Sioux in Pine Ridge, South Dakota: Learning from the Experience of Native American Resettlement; Discussant, Ecological Migration, ISA 2009;

“Imagination and Empathy: Fiction and Literary Non-fiction in Global Environmental Politics Pedagogy” Association for Asian Studies, March 2005;

Roundtable organizer and chair, Political Power and the Environment in China, Association for Asian Studies (April 2002). Panel organizer,

Wars against Nature: Cuba, China, and the Soviet Union,@ American Society for Environmental History (March 2001).

Roundtable participant, The Cultural Revolution and Today’s China, Association for Asian Studies (March 2001).

University and college lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cornell, Berkeley, U. Washington (Seattle), Bard, Bates, Colby, Bowdoin, Colgate, Middlebury, UNC (Asheville), CCNY, SUNY Albany, Tufts, U Wisconsin (Madison), Skidmore, Notre Dame, U British Columbia, U Victoria, Universities of Oslo, Stockholm, and Uppsala.  (More than one hundred such lectures.)

Other public speaking:  World Health Organization (Geneva), U.S. House of Representatives (Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs), Department of State, Foreign Service Institute, Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Library of Congress, five World Affairs Councils, Asia Society (numerous times), Ford Foundation, Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum, Resources for the Future, Dagens Nyheter (Stockholm), Movement for Democratic Rights (Sri Lanka), Princeton China Initiative.  Pennsylvania Humanities Council Lecturer (1991-1993).  U.S. State Department Public Diplomacy lecturer on global environmental issues and the role of NGOs, three weeks, May 2000 (in China).

Media appearances have included the Today Show, CBS Morning News, NBC Nightly News, CBS News Overnight, CNN International Hour, and numerous local television programs;  National Public Radio, BBC World News, Globo Television (Brazil) Voice of America (English and Chinese, radio and television, regular guest), Studs Terkel, Kojo Namdi, Joan Hamburg, Terry Gross, and Caspar Citron.

Print interviews have included:  New York Times, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and many more. Extended interview, “Chairman Mao’s War on Nature,” World Watch Magazine, Nov-Dec. 2002.

Service to the profession: Former board member, Human Rights Watch/Asia; three time service on Fulbright China selection committee; twice on Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars selection committee; countless peer-reviews of articles and books and six anonymous reviews of scholar tenure promotion files for other universities, several of them international. Six years as English-language editor of Brill’s China Environment Yearbook (now Chinese Research Perspectives).

Legal Interpreter, Mandarin Chinese-English, 1981-present

Interpretation in federal courts, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, the District of Columbia, Alexandria, Greenbelt, Baltimore.  Other legal experience: International Trade Commission, D.C. Superior Court, grand jury proceedings, depositions, political asylum applications.  Civil cases include trademark, bank fraud, customs and tax violations, pharmaceutical and electronic patents, domestic disputes.  Criminal cases include extortion, immigrant smuggling, immigration fraud, tax evasion, and assault.  Other interpreting: State Department International Visitors Program (Seminar level) and National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Senior Program Officer for Asia, National Endowment for Democracy, 1992-1994

Administered 1.3 million dollars annually in grants to NGOs to improve the climate for democracy, free expression, and human rights in East and Southeast Asia.  Extensive travel in Asia.

Resident Scholar, Foreign Policy Research Institute, 1989-1992

Resident China specialist.  Wrote opinion pieces, lectured to the public, and provided media commentary.  Organized and chaired conferences and panels on Asia.

Co-Founder and Columnist, China Perspective, Inc., 1983-1986

Co-founded and wrote grants for The Chinese Intellectual (Zhishifenzi) a Chinese-language scholarly quarterly circulated in China and the West intended to encourage China’s development toward a more open society.  Contributed a column introducing new books to a Chinese audience.

“Foreign Expert,” Hunan Teachers’ University, 1979-1981

One of the first Americans to work in China after the normalization of U.S.-China relations in 1979.  Taught journalism and literature to more than 600 students and faculty in Changsha, Hunan.


University Scholar (Princeton University).  Foreign Language Area Scholarship (two years, Berkeley), Dean’s Fellowship (three years, American University), Distinguished Scholarship at the Graduate Level (American University), Fetzer Institute/American Council of Learned Societies, Contemplative Practices Fellowship (2000), Salzburg Seminar on Environment, Energy, Asia (2001). Grants obtained for The Chinese Intellectual from the Open Society Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, Joyce Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Irene Diamond Foundation.


Association for Asian Studies (AAS), American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), International Studies Association (ISA),  Poets, Essayists, and Novelists (PEN), The Authors Guild, The National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), The Translators and Interpreters Guild (TTIG).


Fluent Mandarin; very good French; workable German; limited Spanish.  Three years of Latin


Son of the Revolution (with Liang Heng; Alfred A. Knopf, l983, Vintage Books, l984).

A Handbook of Current Americanisms (with five Chinese co-authors; Hunan Publishing Co., l981).


* “China’s Evolving Civil Society,” Handbook on China’s Environmental Policy, Routledge (2017).

* Environmental Degradation in China under Mao and today: A Comparative Reflection, Global Environment, 2016

* China on the World Stage”, New Earth Politics (MIT 2016).

* Review on “Famine Politics in Maoist China and the Soviet Union”, Agricultural History, 2015

* “Striving for Wealth and Truth in China,” (review of Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos), New York Times, May 25, 2014.

* “China’s Environmental Challenges,” World Financial Review, November-December 2013

* “China’s Environmental Movement,” Current History, September 2013

* “Facing America’s Demons,” Chinadialogue.net, Three part series, 2010.

* “Prepare for War, Prepare for Famine”: Ecologic Effects of Chinese Economic Policy during Sino-Soviet Hostilities, Institute for Social Research (translated into German, Hamburg, 2009)

* Introduction, China Environment Yearbook, 2008.  Brill.

* China’s Greatest Student” (review of The Man Who Loved China by Simon Winchester), Washington Post Book World, May 25, 2008.

* “Invasion and Occupation” (review of Return to Dragon Mountain by Jonathan Spence, Washington Post Book World, November 4, 2007.

* “Red Guards” (review of Mao’s Last Revolution by Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Shoenhals, New York Times Book Review, October 8, 2006

* “Counterrevolutionary Road” (review of Confessions by Kang Zhengguo), New York Times Book Review, June 24, 2007.

* Book chapter on environmental degradation and political repression in China, in China’s Transformations  (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006).

* Book chapter in Forging Environmentalism, Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs (Routledge, 2006).

* Book chapter on environment and security in Maoist China, Environmental Security in Asia (Earthscan, 2004).

* “Political Repression and Environmental Degradation in China,” China Rights Forum, January 2003 (guest editor, special issue).

* “Taking Flight” (review of Escape from China by Zhang Boli), Washington Post Book World, June 9, 2002.

* “Gang of One Billion” (review of Bad Elements by Ian Buruma), New York Times Book Review, December 18, 2001.

* Review of Earth Odyssey by Mark Hertsgaard, Global Environmental Politics, November 2001.

* “Mao’s War against Nature” (article adapted from the book), Journal of East Asian Studies, September 2001.

* Commentary on the National Intelligence Council’s, Global Trends 2015, Environmental Change and Security Project, Woodrow Wilson Center, Fall 2001.

* “Mandarin in the Legal Context,” Proteus, Summer 2001. Reprinted in The Voice (Translators and Interpreters Guild), 2002.

* “Great Leap Backward” (review of Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for A Laugh by Mo Yan), Washington Post Book World, August 5, 2001.

* Review of Managing China’s Environment, edited by Richard Louis Edmonds, China Journal, January 2001.

* “Beyond the Grave” (review of Voices from S-21: Terror and History in Pol Pot=s Secret Prison by David Chandler), New York Times Book Review, January 30, 2000.

* “A Spy in the House of Love” (review of Daughter of China: A True Story of Love and Betrayal by Meihong Xu and Larry Engelmann), Washington Post, September 26, 1999.

* “Orientations” (review of Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West by T.R. Reid), Washington Post, May 16, 1999.

* “Loose Threads” (review of Bridge across Broken Time: Chinese and Jewish Cultural Memory by Vera Schwarcz), New York Times Book Review, September 27, 1998.

* “The Lure of the Middle Kingdom” (review of The Chan’s Great Continent: China in Western Minds by Jonathan Spence), Washington Post, August 30, 1998.

* Burma Road (review of The Voice of Hope by Aung San Suu Kyi and The Lady by Barbara Victor), New York Times Book Review, June 7, 1998.

* “Prisoner in his Homeland” (review of Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk by Palden Gyatso), New York Times Book Review, February 8, 1998.

* “Refusing to be Silenced” (review of Courage to Stand Alone by Wei Jingsheng), New York Times Book Review, May 1, 1997.

* Review of Chinese Awakenings by James and Ann Tyson, Journal of Asian Studies, Fall 1996.

* “Surviving a Chinese Gulag” (review of Grass Soup by Zhang Xianliang), Washington Post, November 19, 1995.

* “At the Heart of the Revolution” (review of Deng Xiaoping, My Father by Deng Maomao), Washington Post, February 19, 1995.

* “Manchurian Ghosts” (review of Baba by Belle Yang), New York Times Book Review, October 23, 1994.

* “Counterrevolutionary Sex” (review of Red Azalea by Anchee Min), New York Times Book Review, February 1994.

* “After the Napalm, Nirvana” (review of Child of War, Woman of Peace by Le Ly Hayslip), Washington Post, March 22, 1993.

* “Twenty-two Years as a Class Enemy” (review of A Single Tear by Wu Ningkun), New York Times Book Review, January 1993.

* “Nigerian Blues” (review of Indigo by Richard Wiley), Washington Post, October 1992.

* “Plumbing the Depths of the Cultural Revolution” (review of Voices from the Whirlwind by Feng Jicai), Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly, May 26, 1992.

* “Camels, Yurts and the FBI (review of Owen Lattimore and the >Loss= of China), Los Angeles Times Book Review, May 17, 1992.

* Xinjiang Musilin Baoluan zhi Yuan [The Origin of the Muslim Uprising] Minzhu Zhongguo, February l992.

* “A Chinese Troublemaker” (review of A Chinese Odyssey by Anne Thurston), New York Times Book Review, January 5, l992.

* “Concubines and Cadres,” (review of Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang), Washington Post, Sept. 8, l99l.

* ABrief Reviews: East Asia,@ Orbis (Summer 1991).

* “The Conscience of China,” (review of Bringing Down the Great Wall by Fang Lizhi), Philadelphia Inquirer, May 5, l99l.

* “The Road to Tiananmen,” (review of China’s Fate by Ed Gargan), Washington Post, February 17, l99l.

* “A Chinese Journalist’s Dogged Crusade,” (review of A Higher Kind of Loyalty by Liu Binyan), Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly, January 28, l99l.

* “Bloodbath on His Doorstep,” (review of Almost a Revolution by Shen Tong), New York Times Book Review, Nov. 18, l990.

* “Second Guessing China’s Fate” (review of Legacies by Bette Bao Lord), Philadelphia Inquirer, April 1, l990.

* “Journalist’s View of Beijing Tragedy” (review of Tiananmen Diary by Harrison Salisbury), Phila. Inquirer, Aug. 27, l989.

* Short review, Xiang Lake by R. Keith Schoppa, New York Times Book Review, April l, l989.

* “Intimate Confessions and Lizard Wine” (review of Behind the Wall by Colin Thubron), New York Times Book Review, Nov. 27, l988.

* “A Fictional Landmark from China” (review of Half of Man is Woman by Zhang Xianliang), Phila. Inquirer, October l6, l988.

* “Concise Japanese Stories Evoking Exotic Sensibilities” (review of Palm-of-the-Hand Stories by Yasunari Kawabata), Philadelphia Inquirer, July 24, l988.

* “Big Books, Small Talk” (regular book review column), The Chinese Intellectual, quarterly, l983-88.

* “Surviving the Hurricane” (review of Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng), New York Review of Books, July 16, l987.

* “Into the Streets Again:  Faith vs. Frustration”  Newsweek, January 5, l987.

* “Scenes from the Kaleidoscope” (review of Chinese Lives by Zhang Xinxin and Sang Ye), New York Times Book Review, l987.

* “Letter from China: Young Writers Test the Limits” (with Liang Heng), New York Times Book Review, January ll, l987.

* “In China, the Year–and Claws–of the Tiger” (with Liang Heng). Op-ed, New York Times, l985.

* Review, Stubborn Weeds and People or Monsters (edited by Perry Link), Society March/April l985.

* “Bitter Myth” (review of The Long March by Harrison Salisbury), The New Republic, December 16, l985.

* “Let a Few Flowers Bloom” (review of Halls of Jade, Walls of Stone), New York Times Book Review, September 28, l985.

* “Looking for Freedom in China” (with Liang Heng), New York Review of Books, October 24, l985.

* “China’s New Landscape” (with Liang Heng), The New Republic, October 7, l985.

* “The Re-education of a ‘Stinking Intellectual'” (review of Six Chapters from My Life ‘Downunder‘ by Yang Jiang), New York Times Book Review, November 25, l984.

* “Good Old Zhou” (review of Zhou Enlai by Dick Wilson), The New Republic, December 3, l984.

* “Chinese Reformers’ Task” (with Liang Heng). Op-ed, New York Times, October 28, l984.

* “Reagan in China: Effect” (with Liang Heng). Op-ed, New York Times, April 22, l984.

* “China Camera” (review of China After Mao by Liu Heung Shing), The New Republic, April 9, l984.

* “Marriage a la Mode” (w. Liang Heng, review of White-Boned Demon by Ross Terrill), New York Review of Books, March 15, l984.

* “The Collective Life at Long Bow” (review of Shenfan by William Hinton), Washington Post, June 19, l983.

*  “Wild History” (review of The Conspiracy and Death of Lin Biao by Yao Ming-le), The New Republic, July 13, 1983.

* “China’s Secret Prison” (published anonymously, with Liang Heng), New York Review of Books, June 10, l982.

* “The Rocky Road to Love in China,” New York Times Magazine, December 13, l981.

* “Letter from China” (published anonymously, with Liang Heng), New York Review of Books, l980.

* “Changsha is Talking About… How to Dance”; “Changsha is Talking About…The Art Lectures”; “Changsha is Talking About… The Last Workers’ Class.”  Columns written from China, The San Francisco Chronicle, May 11, 1981; June 2, 1979; July 13, 1979.