In “China as Method,” Mizoguchi Yūzō argues that “a world that takes China as method would be a world in which China is a constitutive element.” Similarly, a world that takes ecology as method is a world in which humans are a constitutive element, one of “the ten thousand things” (wanwu 萬物). In this essay, the author examines distinct ways in which fictional writers imagine relational dynamics between humans, nonhuman animals, regional ecosystems, and the cosmos to theorize ecology as method. Ecology as method works to radically decenter anthropocentric understandings of the cosmos, historicizes regional ecologies in order to illuminate global dynamics, and acknowledges deterritorialization. While mourning loss, it resists sentimentalizing cultural narratives that rationalize the genocide of species as inevitable. This article focuses on three contemporary eco-writers of Inner Mongolia. Mandumai 滿都麥, one of the People's Republic of China's earliest post-Mao eco-writers, romanticizes indigeneity in his Mongolian-language stories (read in this article in Mandarin translation). Mongolian-Han Sinophone writer Guo Xuebo 郭雪波 juxtaposes “grassland logic” against “agrarian logic” in his desert fiction series, illustrating how agrilogistics dominates the ecological imagination of the ethnically diverse desert-dwellers. Finally, the article analyzes the best-selling Wolf Totem by Beijing-based sent-down youth Jiang Rong 姜戎. Despite attributing desertification to Han ignorance, the novel simultaneously maps the steppes via ecological understandings from Hanspace ontology.

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