Hansun Hsiung

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Sep 2016-Aug 2019)


Hansun Hsiung combines methods from book history and the history of science to address fundamental problems in the global history of knowledge. His research to date has traced the transformation of print networks between Japan and western Europe, ca. 1750-1900, detailing—a story that thrusts missionaries, opium smugglers, and pirate publishers alongside samurai-scholars in the co-production of Western knowledge. In addition to a book manuscript, Learn Anything!: Cheap Pedagogical Print and the Education of the Modern World, he is at work editing a volume on the role of "compression" as a virtue in communications and information management systems, as well as a second monograph project on the prehistory of stock image banks. His research has received support from the American Historical Association, the Fulbright Program, and the Mellon Foundation. Prior to his arrival at MPIWG, he trained at Yale, the University of Tokyo, and Harvard (PhD, 2016).


No current projects were found for this scholar.

From Electrotype to the Electric Image: Global Vision, ca. 1830–1920


Selected Publications

Hsiung, Hansun (2023). “The Problem of Western Knowledge in Late Tokugawa Japan.” In The New Cambridge History of Japan. Vol. 2, ed. D. L. Howell, 2:363–396. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Hsiung, Hansun (2022). “‘Use Me as Your Test!’ Patients, Practitioners, and the Commensurability of Virtue.” Osiris 37: 273–296. https://doi.org/10.1086/719230.

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Hsiung, Hansun and Kathryn Schwartz (2021). “Lithography.” In Information: A Historical Companion, ed. A. Blair, P. Duguid, A.-S. Goeing, and A. Grafton, 583–588. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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Hsiung, Hansun (2021). “Épistémologie à la japonaise: Kanamori Osamu and the History and Philosophy of Science in Japan.” Contemporary Japan 33 (1): 123–137. https://doi.org/10.1080/18692729.2020.1847390.

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Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

"From the Ethnography of Science to the History of Science: Clavius' In sphaeram in Japan and the Travel of Epistemic Anxieties"

Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Chicago, IL

"Size Matters: Knowledge, Storage, and the History of Compression"

Harvard University