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A Summer School in Yunnan Province, China

Fieldwork in Culture and Environment


9-29 July, 2011

Location: Yunnan University, Kunming, China

Co-Organizers: The Yunnan University Nationality Research Institute (YNU-NRI), UNU-ISP


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The Yunnan University Nationality Research Institute(YNU-NRI), Kunming and the United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP), Tokyo, invite applications for the intensive 3-week postgraduate course on Rural Field Studies in Culture and Environment commencing in July 2011.

The course is partly sponsored by the Ministry of Education, China and is designed under the framework of the Network on Culture and Environment (NCE). The NCE is a collaborative initiative between YNU-NRI and UNU-ISP, in partnership with a consortium of universities in southwest China. It is committed to promoting studies on the interrelationship between ethnic cultures and their environments, and building capacity for sustainable development in ethnic minority areas in southwest China and the bordering regions in South-East Asia and South Asia. YNU- NRI acts as the Secretariat of the NCE.

The fieldwork method originated from anthropology in the late 19th century and has been widely used in social sciences and humanities. This summer school will introduce students to basic research methodologies used in fieldwork in combination with theory, models and methods, such as qualitative & quantitative methods, participatory observation, interviews, questionnaire, ethnographic writing and visual anthropology.

The course will be augmented by field studies that examine the interrelationship between humans and their living environments, and how such interrelationships have been historically shaped by local culture and political economy in the wider social context. Particular attention will be given to indigenous knowledge in agriculture, botany and hydrology, as well as its potential role in promoting sustainable management of natural resources and conservation of biodiversity. In addition, the summer school will also include fieldwork that examines the rural economy, policy, society, literature and art.

The summer school is a combination of coursework and field studies. The coursework will take place from 9 to 16 July, followed by field studies in one of the 6 ethnic minority villages from 17 to 28 July. The lecturers are
from China and abroad with a range of multidisciplinary backgrounds including anthropology, ethnology, ecology, agronomy, sociology, political science, economics, and media studies.


8 July:
9-16 July:
17-28 July:
Field Studies
29 July:
Closing Ceremony


  • Coursework at Yunnan University, Kunming, China.
  • Field studies at 6 ethnic minority villages in Yunnan, which are research sites operated by YNU-NRI.

Tuition Fees

USD 600.00 (including accommodation and field studies)


Zhu Min
The Yunnan University Nationality Research Institute (YNU-NRI)

Add: No.2 North Greenlake Road, Kunming, Yunnan, P. R. China.
Tel: 0086-0871-5034738
Fax : 0086-0871-5031748