Judith Shapiro

Professor, Department of Environment, Development, and Health

Professor Judith Shapiro is the director of the Masters in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development for the School of International Service at American University. She was one of the first Americans to live in China after U.S.-China relations were normalized in 1979, and taught English at the Hunan Teachers’ College in Changsha, China. She has also taught at Villanova University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Aveiro (Portugal), Southwest Agricultural University in Chongqing, China, and Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University.

Professor Shapiro’s research and teaching focus on global environmental politics and policy, the environmental politics of Asia, and Chinese politics under Mao. She is the author, co-author or editor of ten books, including China Goes Green: Coercive Environmentalism for a Troubled Planet (with Yifei Li, Polity 2020), China’s Environmental Challenges (Polity 2016), Mao’s War against Nature (Cambridge University 2001), Son of the Revolution (with Liang Heng, Knopf 1983), and Our Extractive Age: Expressions of Violence and Resistance (co-edited with John-Andrew McNeish, Routledge 2021). Mao’s War against Nature inspired a documentary, and her early experiences in China were made into a television feature film.
Dr. Shapiro earned her Ph.D. in International Relations from American University. She holds an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and another M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana. Her B.A. from Princeton University is in Anthropology and East Asian Studies.

Current Projects

• Global environmental politics and policy, the environmental politics of Asia