People

Dagmar Schäfer

Director (Since 2013)

Dr., Professor, TU Berlin, FU Berlin, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Dagmar Schäfer's main interest is the history and sociology of technology of China, focusing on the paradigms configuring the discourse on technological development, past and present. She 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. Her monograph The Crafting of the 10,000 Things (University of Chicago Press, 2011) won the History of Science Society: Pfizer Award in 2012 and the Association for Asian Studies: Joseph Levenson Prize (Pre-1900) in 2013. Her current research focus is the historical dynamics of concept formation, situations, and experiences of action through which actors have explored, handled and explained their physical, social, and individual worlds.

Dagmar Schäfer is Honorary Professor, History of Technology, Technical University, Berlin; Adjunct Professor, Institute of Sinology, Freie Universität, Berlin; and Guest Professor at the School of History and Culture of Science, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Tianjin University (2018–2021). She received her doctorate from the University of Würzburg as well as her habilitation in the history of China and science. She has worked and studied at the University of Zhejiang PR China, Beijing University PR China, Hsinchu University RoChina, the University of Pennsylvania USA. and the University of Manchester UK among others.

Projects

Accounting for Uncertainty: Prediction and Planning in Asian History

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Infrastructural Research Initiatives, Sources in Sciences' Histories (IRISSH)

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Local Gazetteers

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Moving Crops and the Scales of History

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Multimedia and the History of Science/Sound of Silk Film Project

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Reader Project in the History of Science

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RISE and SHINE: Research Infrastructure for the Study of Eurasia

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Scale and Scope

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Cultural Traditions of Technical Knowledge

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Geographies of Knowing: China Historical GIS

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Knowledge Transmission

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

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Monumentalized or Marginalized, Writings about Technology in Chinese History: A Database

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Systems, Tools, and Artifacts: Technology Transmission in Premodern China

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Selected Publications

Schäfer, D., & Han, Y. (2019). Great plans: Song Dynastic (960–1279) institutions for human and veterinary healthcare. In R. Sterckx, M. Siebert, & D. Schäfer (Eds.), Animals through Chinese history: earliest times to 1911 (pp. 160-180)…

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Schäfer, D., Siebert, M., & Sterckx, R. (2019). Knowing animals in China's history: an introduction. In R. Sterckx, M. Siebert, & D. Schäfer (Eds.), Animals through Chinese history: earliest times to 1911 (pp. 1-19). Cambridge: Cambridge…

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Sterckx, R., Siebert, M., & Schäfer, D. (Eds.). (2019). Animals through Chinese history: earliest times to 1911. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108551571.

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Schäfer, D. (2018). Kranzberg’s fifth law. Technology's Stories, 1-7.

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Institute Events

Reading Group

Thinking in Many Tongues: Lexicography

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Lecture

Public Lecture: Narratives, Translations, and a Global History of Science

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Institute's Colloquium

The Future of Academic Publishing

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Conference

Studies of Knowledge in Eurasia and Africa: Issues of Methodology and Future Perspectives

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Books

Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Panel: “Empires, Exchange and Civilizational Connectivity in Eurasia”

ENIUGH Congress, Budapest, Hungary

ENIUGH
Keynote address: Politics and Scientific Change in Dynastic China, at Knowing Nature: The Changing Foundations of Environmental Knowledge,

Renmin University, Beijing, China

Dynastic Knowledge and the Knowledge of Dynasties: Politics and the History of Scientific Change in China

Columbia University, New York, USA

The Center for Science and Society
A Cosmos of Silkworms: Textiles and Knowledge Of Nature From 12th-14th Century China

Princeton University, USA

East Asian Studies Program