- Prof. Francesca Bray visited IHNS and gave two lectures
Invited by the director of IHNS Prof. Zhang Baichun, Prof. Francesca Bray visited IHNS on Sep.22.2015.Prof. Bray is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh and the president of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). She is a historian of agriculture, technology, science and medicine in Asia, with anthropological and STS interests in technology, food and food –systems.
In the morning, Prof. Bray gave a lecture entitled “What is a significant technology ” to the professors and graduate students from the IHNS. In this lecture, she argued that everyday technologies are as important as the huge and sophisticated technologies, so scholars should pay close attention to technologies that shaped everyday life. She then gave three examples to show how to do research on everyday technologies, one was about toilet cultures in California and Africa, a second was the weaving work done by women in late imperial China, and the last one was the Kang heating system and its spread to northeast China.
In the afternoon, Prof. Bray gave her second lecture “Rice and the rise of global capitalism”. Professor Zeng Xiongsheng of the IHNS presided over this lecture. As Prof. Bray put it, the history of rice is actually intricately entwined with the emergence of early modern world economy and the global network of industrial capitalism, and has played a critical role in shaping and linking the histories of Asia, Europe, Africa and America, but till today nobody has tried to sketch rice’s place in global history, Prof. Bray then briefly introduced the collaborative “global rice research project” that she and her colleagues published this spring, and indicated some significant breakthroughs they have made in writing the world history of rice.
As the president of SHOT, Prof. Bray introduced SHOT and its next annual meeting which will be held in Singapore on 22-26th June 2016, she told the audiences when and how to submit their papers and proposals , while giving many useful suggestions on writing a good proposal/abstract , and she also reminded the audiences how to find useful information from SHOT Blog and Weibo page designed by Dr. Yao Dazhi from IHNS and Dr. Shi Xiaolei from HNU. Prof. Bray warmly welcome the staff and graduate students from IHNS to attend the conference in the next year.
Blog of SHOT: http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/5399460479
Weibo of SHOT: http://www.weibo.com/u/5399460479