Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Charles S. Ross

Committee Chair

Charles S. Ross

Committee Member 1

Daniel Hsieh

Committee Member 2

Richard D. Johnson-Sheehan

Committee Member 3

Daniel C. Morris


This dissertation is a cross-cultural study of Chinese ecocinema after 1978. It begins by introducing the Hollywood practice in simplifying the conflicts between garden and machine, anthropocentrism and ecocentrism, and Tityrus and Meliboeus in American pastoralism, then explains why such simplification does not work on Chinese screen, and finally studies how Chinese filmmakers reconstruct their pastoral myth in three major steps: first, to recognize Chinese social and cultural realities; second, to establish the human-nature connection, and third, to affirm the nature-culture unity. The conclusion is that Chinese eco-cinema exists in a hybrid form. While Hollywood influences Chinese eco-cinema in terms of production, promotion, and distribution, it manages to develop its own voice by reconstructing a pastoral myth that Chinese audiences could understand and appreciate. It differs from the Hollywood version by creating some tragic, everyday heroes who may seem powerless in protecting or retrieving the pastoral garden, and yet maintain a strong life force not to give up their pastoral faith which has its root in both the human-nature connection and the nature-culture unity.