Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Elizabeth Lord

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Environment and Society


Elizabeth Lord is a human geographer who works on China’s environment. She examines how environmental protection policies and pollution affect rural communities, and more specifically whether China’s dream of ‘building an ecological civilization’ is reproducing rural-urban inequality. She also studies the making of environmental knowledge in contemporary China, looking at how environmental research is shaped by economic, institutional, political, and social forces. She draws on political ecology, environmental anthropology, and science and technology studies, and regularly conducts fieldwork in China, most recently in the Qinling Mountains. At Brown, Elizabeth is teaching an interdisciplinary course on China’s environment and another on political ecology. She is revising her dissertation into a book and also analyzing tropes in the scholarship on China’s environment to understand how anxieties about global environmental questions and China’s rise intersect. She graduated from the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto and was an An Wang postdoctoral fellow at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies in 2017.