This volume provides a history of how “the human” has been constituted as a subject of scientific inquiry in China from the seventeenth century to the present. Organized around four themes—“Parameters of Human Life,” “Formations of the Human Subject,” “Disciplining Knowledge,” and “Deciphering Health”—it scrutinizes the development of scientific knowledge and technical interest in human organization within an evolving Chinese society. Spanning the Ming-Qing, Republican, and contemporary periods, its twenty-four original, synthetic chapters ground the mutual construction of “China” and “the human” in concrete historical contexts. As a state-of-the-field survey, a definitive textbook for teaching, and an authoritative reference that guides future research, this book pushes Sinology, comparative cultural studies, and the history of science in new directions.
The first of its kind, this collection of critical essays opens up new venues in the comparative study of science and culture by focusing on the formative decades of modern China in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. It provides a wide-ranging examination of the cultural and intellectual history of science and technology in modern China.From anti-imperialism to the technology of Chinese writing, the commodification of novelties to the rise of the modern professional scientist, new lexica and appropriations of the past, the contributors map out a transregional and global circuitry of modern knowledge and practical know-how, nationalism and the amalgamation of new social practices.
Contributors include: Iwo Amelung, Fa-ti Fan, Shen Guowei, Danian Hu, Joachim Kurtz, Eugenia Lean, Thomas S. Mullaney, Hugh Shapiro, Grace Shen, and Jing Tsu.