"When Historians and Computer Engineers Collaborate in Research”: An Interview with Sinologist Dagmar Schäfer


The Paper Logo

Director Dagmar Schäfer has been interviewed by 澎湃新闻 on the importance of working and exchanging between China and Germany—her coedited History of Science Reader  volume is intended to enhance such communication—and on winning the Leibniz Prize in 2020.

"The Leibniz Prize is not just a prize for me as an individual, but is a recognition for the whole research field—Chinese history of science and technology, global history research integrating different cultures," Dagmar Schäfer states.

The article also touches upon how Schäfer acquired her Chinese name “薛凤”—from the classical Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber—and how the MPIWG has responded to the COVID-19 crisis through its newly-established multimedia resource platform “History of Science ON CALL,” which includes reading lists, syllabi, and short video interviews by researchers on how the humanities can approach the Covid-19 crisis.

Such projects are not the only way in which historians and technology come together, as shown by Schäfer's work in the digital humanities. The local gazetteers project demonstrates that when computer engineers and historians sit together to do research, they can develop solutions for certain historical questions with the help of digital methods.