Professor Schäfer's main interest is the history and sociology of technology of China, focusing on the paradigms configuring the discourse on technological development. Her current research focus is the historical dynamic of concept formation. In her lecture on “Medical Substance for Animals in Fifteenth-Century Ming Dynasty" she will illustrate how thinking in processes generated in this era contributed five hundred years later to Europe’s rise, especially through modern technology and science. In addition a PG Masterclass on “Comparative history: language and matter in global studies of technology and innovation” invites critical engagement with global history and uses Chinese discussions of comparison (with translations) to develop a fresh view to areas that are usually taken to dominate the comparative view: Britain, Germany, France. Professor Schäfer will be engaging with faculty in a round table and will co-organise a workshop on "Innovation in the Pre-modern World" with Giorgio Riello (Director of the GHCC and of the IAS). During her stay Professor Schäfer hope to discuss the creation of a new framework for the thinking of physical/material factorcomparatively: how life itself was managed and such ideas of management impacted knowledge development locally.
1. Tuesday 21 Feb, 12-1.30pm, IAS seminar room, Millburn House
Round table: ‘Science and Technology in Global History: the Development of an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda’
This event is open to faculty and students and is an opportunity to consider the ways in which cross-disciplinary activities can help Warwick formulate a strategy to address the field of the global history of technology, innovation and creativity.
2. Tuesday 21 Feb, 5-7pm, R0.3/4 Ramphal Building
Lecture: ‘For Substance or Health: Medical Substances for Animals in Fifteenth-Century Ming Dynasty’ (Jointly organised by the Global History & Culture Centre and the Centre for the History of Medicine)
3. Wednesday 22 Feb, 12-1.30pm, H545 Humanities Building
PG Masterclass: ‘Comparative History: Language and Matter in Global Studies of Technology and Innovation’
Comparison is en vogue in global history. Global historians often take entire societies, countries, and even larger geo-cultural or geo-political entities as their units of analysis and consider objects to be mobile entities that connect the world and create the global. But when they follow a travelling object across regions, mountains, plains, oceans or river flows, what exactly is being compared? This masterclass invited critical engagement with the practice of comparison in global history