profile picture of Dagmar Schäfer
People

Dagmar Schäfer

Director (Since 2013)

Dr., Professor, TU Berlin, FU Berlin

Dagmar Schäfer is fascinated by past practices and discourses of making and how they affect us today. A trained sinologist and historian of science and technology, her research interests range from the history and sociology of technology of China to the paradigms configuring the discourse on technological development, past and present. She received her doctorate in Würzburg in 1996 and her habilitation in 2005. After leading an MPIWG Independent Research Group on the History of Science and Technology in China, she was granted the Chair of China Studies and History of Technology at the University of Manchester in 2011, and took up directorship of Dept. III, Artifacts, Action, Knowledge in 2013. Dagmar Schäfer is Honorary Professor at the Technische Universität Berlin (History of Science and Technology) and at Freie Universität Berlin (China Studies). Recent guest professorships and residential scholarships include the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2017, the IAS Princeton, 2019, and the European University Institute, Florence, in 2022.

Dagmar Schäfer has published widely on the premodern history of China (Song-Ming) and technology, materiality, the processes and structures that lead to varying knowledge systems, and the changing role of artifacts—texts, objects, and spaces—in the creation, diffusion, and use of scientific and technological knowledge. 

 

Schäfer portrait photo

Photo: ausserhofer.de

Her monograph, The Crafting of the 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in Seventeenth-Century China (University of Chicago Press, 2011), received the Pfizer Award and Joseph Levenson Book Prize. Recent publications include the working group volumes Ownership of Knowledge: Beyond Intellectual Property (MIT Press, 2023), coedited with Annapurna Mamidipudi and Marius Buning, and Plurilingualism in Traditional Eurasian Scholarship: Thinking in Many Tongues (Brill, 2023), coedited with Glenn W. Most and Mårten Söderblom Saarela, as well as the History and Technology special issue “Making History: Technologies of Production and the Estate of Knowledge in East Asia,” coedited with Victor Seow (2022).

In 2020 Dagmar Schäfer was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize by the DFG (German Research Foundation) for her development of  new approaches to cultural studies and the resulting comparative perspectives on a comprehensive global history. Dagmar Schäfer is the current Executive Director of the MPIWG.

Projekte

Berlin Research 50 (BR 50)

MEHR

Ability and Authority

MEHR

Berlin Research 50 (BR 50)

MEHR

Common Knowledge and Its Sources in the Sinosphere, 14th to 20th Centuries

MEHR

Image Database: Visualization and Material Cultures of the Heavens

MEHR

Source-Based Initiatives

MEHR

Visualization and Material Cultures of the Heavens in Eurasia and North Africa (4000 BCE–1700 CE)

MEHR

Accounting for Uncertainty: Prediction and Planning in Asian History

MEHR

Cultural Traditions of Technical Knowledge

MEHR

Geographies of Knowing: China Historical GIS

MEHR

History of Science ON CALL: Listening, Attending, Acting

MEHR

History of Science Reader

MEHR

Knowledge Transmission

MEHR

Local Gazetteers

MEHR

Media and Methods of Practical Knowledge Transmission: Craftsmanship and the Qing Court

MEHR

Selected Publications

Schäfer, Dagmar, Annapurna Mamidipudi, and Marius Buning, eds. (2023). Ownership of Knowledge: Beyond Intellectual Property. Inside Technology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/14648.001.0001.

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Most, Glenn W., Dagmar Schäfer, and Mårten Söderblom Saarela, eds. (2023). Plurilingualism in Traditional Eurasian Scholarship: Thinking in Many Tongues. Ancient Languages and Civilizations 3. Leiden: Brill. https://doi.org//10.1163/9789004527256.

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Seow, Victor and Dagmar Schäfer, eds. (2022). Making History: Technologies of Production and the Estate of Knowledge in East Asia. Special issue, History and Technology 38 (2–3). Routledge. https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ghat20/38/2-3.

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Schäfer, Dagmar and Simona Valeriani, eds. (2021). Technology Is Global: The Useful & Reliable Knowledge Debate. Special issue, Technology and Culture 62 (2). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/44660.

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Schäfer, Dagmar, Shih-Pei Chen, and Qun Che (2020). “What is Local Knowledge? Digital Humanities and Yuan Dynasty Disasters in Imperial China’s Local Gazetteers.” Journal of Chinese History 4 (2): 391–429. https://doi.org/10.1017/jch.2020.31.

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Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

"Knowledge and Its Resources: Concepts, Methods, Historiographies" with Prof. Cale Johnson and Prof. Christine von Oertzen

IMPRS, MPIWG

Vorlesungsverzeichnis Freie Universität Berlin
Historical Perspectives on East and West Convergence in the AI Era

Organizer: Baptist University of Hong Kong

Venue: Hong Kong Palace Museum

Nachrichten & Presse

Dagmar Schäfer in detektor.fm-Sendung über Ownership of Knowledge

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IMPRS „Knowledge and Its Resources: Historical Reciprocities“ begrüßt seine zweite Kohorte

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Eröffnung: Internationale Max Planck Research School „Knowledge and Its Resources"

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Media Interviews

Bücher