Philippe Forêt

Membership:  2017

Member Bio

A historical geographer trained at the Universities of Chicago and of California at Berkeley, Philippe Forêt has led projects with major universities in China, Europe, and Switzerland. The activities of his teams have focused on the history of Sino-European exchanges, fieldwork in the geosciences, mountain and desert studies, sustainable development in emergent countries, energy and climate policy, the transition from collapse to post-collapse, new markets in the cultural economy, and the development of the environmental humanities. Philippe is the codirector of Environmental Humanities Switzerland, a program that SAGUF (Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences) has supported at ETH Zurich since 2013. He is currently a visiting scholar in geography at the University of Geneva, and the professor of environmental history of Nazarbayev University, which is the only research-intensive university of Central Asia.


  • with Ruth Dunnell, Mark Elliott, and Jim Millward, eds. New Qing Imperial History: The Making of Inner Asian Empire at Qing Chengde. London: Routledge, 2004.
    Mapping Chengde: The Qing Landscape Enterprise. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2000.
  • with Andreas Kaplony, eds. The Journey of Maps and Images on the Silk Road. Leiden: Brill, 2008.
  • La véritable histoire d'une montagne plus grande que l'Himalaya: Les résultats scientifiques inattendus d'un voyage au Tibet (1906–1908) et de la querelle du Transhimalaya. Paris: Editions Bréal, 2004.
  • with Aymon Baud and Svetlana Gorshenina. La Haute-Asie telle qu'ils l'ont vue: Explorateurs et scientifiques de 1820 à 1940. Geneva: Editions Olizane, 2003.