British Naturalists in Qing China

Author: Fa-ti FAN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674036689
Format: PDF
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In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Western scientific interest in China focused primarily on natural history. Prominent scholars in Europe as well as Westerners in China, including missionaries, merchants, consular officers, and visiting plant hunters, eagerly investigated the flora and fauna of China. Yet despite the importance and extent of this scientific activity, it has been entirely neglected by historians of science. This book is the first comprehensive study on this topic. In a series of vivid chapters, Fa-ti Fan examines the research of British naturalists in China in relation to the history of natural history, of empire, and of Sino-Western relations. The author gives a panoramic view of how the British naturalists and the Chinese explored, studied, and represented China's natural world in the social and cultural environment of Qing China. Using the example of British naturalists in China, the author argues for reinterpreting the history of natural history, by including neglected historical actors, intellectual traditions, and cultural practices. His approach moves beyond viewing the history of science and empire within European history and considers the exchange of ideas, aesthetic tastes, material culture, and plants and animals in local and global contexts. This compelling book provides an innovative framework for understanding the formation of scientific practice and knowledge in cultural encounters. Table of Contents: Acknowledgments Introduction I. The Port 1. Natural History in a Chinese Entrepà ́t 2. Art, Commerce, and Natural History II. The Land 3. Science and Informal Empire 4. Sinology and Natural History 5. Travel and Fieldwork in the Interior Epilogue Appendix: Selected Biographical Notes Abbreviations Notes Index Fa-ti Fan's study of the encounter between the British culture of the naturalist and the Chinese culture of the Qing is both a delight and a revelation. The topic has scarcely been addressed by historians of science, and this work fills important gaps in our knowledge of British scientific practice in a noncolonial context and of Chinese reactions to Western science in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In addition to the culture of Victorian naturalists and Sinology, Fan shows an admirable grasp of visual representation in science, Chinese taxonomic schemes, Chinese export art, British imperial scholarship, and journeys of exploration. His treatment of the China trade and descriptions of Chinese markets and nurseries are especially welcome. I learned a great deal, and I strongly recommend this book. --Philip Rehbock, author of Philosophical Naturalists: Themes in Early Nineteenth-Century British Biology By focusing on the experiences of British naturalists in China during a time when it was gradually being opened up to foreign influences, Fan makes at least two important contributions to history of science: He gives us an authoritative study of British naturalists in China (as far as I know the only one of its kind), and he forces us to rethink some of our categories for doing history of science, including how we conceive of the relationship between science and imperialism, and between Western naturalist and native. Fan's scholarship is meticulous, with careful attention to detail, and his prose is clear, controlled, and succinct. --Bernard Lightman, editor of Victorian Science in Context

Eco Cultural Networks and the British Empire

Author: James Beattie
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441125949
Format: PDF, Mobi
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19th-century British imperial expansion dramatically shaped today's globalised world. Imperialism encouraged mass migrations of people, shifting flora, fauna and commodities around the world and led to a series of radical environmental changes never before experienced in history. Eco-Cultural Networks and the British Empire explores how these networks shaped ecosystems, cultures and societies throughout the British Empire and how they were themselves transformed by local and regional conditions. This multi-authored volume begins with a rigorous theoretical analysis of the categories of 'empire' and 'imperialism'. Its chapters, written by leading scholars in the field, draw methodologically from recent studies in environmental history, post-colonial theory and the history of science. Together, these perspectives provide a comprehensive historical understanding of how the British Empire reshaped the globe during the 19th and 20th centuries. This book will be an important addition to the literature on British imperialism and global ecological change.

Historical epistemology and the making of modern Chinese medicine

Author: Howard Chiang
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 1784991902
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This collection expands the history of Chinese medicine by bridging the philosophical concerns of epistemology and the history and cultural politics of transregional medical formations. Topics range from the spread of gingko's popularity from East Asia to the West to the appeal of acupuncture for complementing in-vitro fertilisation regimens, from the modernisation of Chinese anatomy and forensic science to the evolving perceptions of the clinical efficacy of Chinese medicine. The individual essays cohere around the powerful theoretical-methodological approach, historical epistemology, with which scholars in science studies have already challenged the seemingly constant and timeless status of such rudimentary but pivotal dimensions of scientific process as knowledge, reason, argument, objectivity, evidence, fact and truth. Yet given that landmark studies in historical epistemology rarely navigate outside the intellectual landscape of Western science and medicine, this book broadens our understanding of its application and significance by drawing on and exploring the rich cultures of Chinese medicine. In studying the globalising role of medical objects, the contested premise of medical authority and legitimacy, and the syncretic transformations of metaphysical and ontological knowledge, contributors illuminate how the breadth of the historical study of Chinese medicine and its practices of knowledge-making in the modern period must be at once philosophical and transnational in scope. This book will appeal to students and scholars working in science studies and medical humanities as well as readers who are interested in the broader problems of translation, material culture and the global circulation of knowledge.

The Circulation of Knowledge Between Britain India and China

Author:
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004251413
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In The Circulation of Knowledge Between Britain, India and China, twelve scholars examine how knowledge, things and people moved within, and between, the East and the West from the early modern period to the twentieth century.

Science between Europe and Asia

Author: Feza Günergun
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789048199686
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book explores the various historical and cultural aspects of scientific, medical and technical exchanges that occurred between central Europe and Asia. A number of papers investigate the printing, gunpowder, guncasting, shipbuilding, metallurgical and drilling technologies while others deal with mapping techniques, the adoption of written calculation and mechanical clocks as well as the use of medical techniques such as pulse taking and electrotherapy. While human mobility played a significant role in the exchange of knowledge, translating European books into local languages helped the introduction of new knowledge in mathematical, physical and natural sciences from central Europe to its periphery and to the Middle East and Asian cultures. The book argues that the process of transmission of knowledge whether theoretical or practical was not a simple and one-way process from the donor to the receiver as it is often admitted, but a multi-dimensional and complex cultural process of selection and transformation where ancient scientific and local traditions and elements. The book explores the issue from a different geopolitical perspective, namely not focusing on a singular recipient and several points of distribution, namely the metropolitan centres of science, medicine, and technology, but on regions that are both recipients and distributors and provides new perspectives based on newly investigated material for historical studies on the cross scientific exchanges between different parts of the world.

Moveable Feasts

Author: Sarah Murray
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1429970278
Format: PDF
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Today the average meal has traveled thousands of miles before reaching the dinner table. How on earth did this happen? In fact, long-distance food is nothing new and, since the earliest times, the things we eat and drink have crossed countries and continents. Through delightful anecdotes and astonishing facts, Moveable Feasts tells their stories. For the ancient Romans, the amphora---a torpedo-shaped pot that fitted snugly into the ship's hold---was the answer to moving millions of tons of olive oil from Spain to Italy. Napoleon offered a reward to anyone who could devise a way of preserving and transporting food for soldiers. (What he got was the tin can.) Today temperature-controlled shipping containers allow companies to send their frozen salmon to China, where it's thawed, filleted, refrozen, and sent back to the United States for sale in supermarkets as "fresh" Atlantic salmon. Combining history, science, and politics, Financial Times writer Sarah Murray provides a fascinating glimpse into the extraordinary odysseys of food from farm to fork. She encounters everything from American grain falling from United Nations planes in Sudan to Mumbai's tiffin men who, using only bicycles, carts, and their feet, deliver more than 170,000 lunches a day. Following the items on a grocery store shopping list, Murray shows how the journeys of food have brought about seismic shifts in economics, politics, and even art. By flying food into Berlin during the 1948 airlift, the Allies kept a city of more than two million alive for more than a year and secured their first Cold War victory, appealing to German hearts and minds---and stomachs. In nineteenth-century Buffalo, the grain elevator (a giant mechanical scooping machine) not only turned the city into one of America's wealthiest, but it also had a profound influence on modern architecture, giving Bauhaus designers an important source of inspiration. In a thought-provoking and highly entertaining account, Moveable Feasts brings an entirely fresh perspective to the subject of food. And today, as global warming makes headlines and concerns mount about the "food miles" clocked by our dinners, Murray poses a contentious question: Is buying local always the most sustainable, ethical choice?

The Afterlife of Images

Author: Larissa Heinrich
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: 9780822340935
Format: PDF, ePub
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