People

Christoph Alexander Hess

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (Sep 2021-Nov 2021)

Christoph Hess holds a BA in Philosophy of Economics from the University of Bayreuth and an MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies from the University of Cambridge. He is currently a PhD student at Cambridge, where he works with the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. Christoph’s doctoral dissertation examines the institutional framework of credit in Qing and Republican China. The dissertation draws on private contracts and official memorials to develop quantitative models explaining how money and information traveled in pre-industrial communities. This interest in everyday social practices has led him to the wider question of how practical knowledge spread in late Imperial China, and how it was re-worked in the process of transmission. Christoph is especially interested in developing digital humanities methodologies for Chinese historical sources as a tool for shedding new light on well-used sources such as local gazetteers. His work at MPIWG thus combines digital humanities with traditional qualitative methods to analyze the spread of fertilizer technology in late Imperial China spatially and temporarily. The project is embedded within the Institute’s Local Gazetteers and Agriculture and the Making of Sciences research groups and receives support from the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge

Projects

How Does Knowledge Spread? Evidence from Fertilizer in Late Imperial China

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