Jesse Rodenbiker (冉哲诗) is Associate Research Scholar at the Center on Contemporary China at Princeton University and Assistant Teaching Professor of Geography at Rutgers University. He is the author of Ecological States: Politics of Science and Nature in Urbanizing China (Cornell University Press, forthcoming in 2023).

Geoengineering the Sublime

China and the Aesthetic State

Geoengineering for aesthetic and utilitarian ends, this essay argues, is part and parcel of the banal operation of state power in contemporary China. In contrast with Kantian articulations of the sublime, turn-of-the-century thinkers like Zhang Jingsheng and contemporary Chinese politicians and scientists espouse an ecological sublime undergirded by mechanistic and utilitarian logics expressed through techniques […]

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