MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2016

Engineering China: Cost and Consequence of the Three Gorges

Chris Leighton

Jan/27 Wed 05:00PM-07:00PM

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/25
Limited to 25 participants
Prereq: None

Under the leadership of the Communist Party (many of whose elite members have engineering backgrounds) countless ambitious infrastructure projects have remade the China physically. How should we measure the social impact of these changes?

Yung Chang considers this topic in the documentary Up the Yangtze, which focuses on the massive Three Gorges Dam, a 1.5 mile long 600 foot high marvel that displaced millions, (very slightly) changed the rotation of the earth, and drowned a landscape as iconic as the Grand Canyon, while at the same time potentially providing 100 terawatt-hours of electricity per year. As boats cruise for scenic farewell voyages up and down the river, the film follows the lives of two people who work those rising waters.

Participants will watch and discuss the film over a shared Chinese meal. No prerequisites; all welcome.

Sponsor(s): History
Contact: Christopher Leighton, E51-288, 617 324-0541, CLEIGHT@MIT.EDU