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 artefacts—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, School of History and Culture of Science, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 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 U.S.A. and the University of Manchester U.K. among others.

Projects

Accounting for Uncertainty: Prediction and Planning in Asian History

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Creation of an Image Database for Eurasia and North Africa (4000 BCE–1700 CE)

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Digital Humanities

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Get-It-Published

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Local Gazetteers

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Moving Crops and the Scale of History

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

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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

Song, J.-O., & Schäfer, D. (2017). Interpreting the collection and display of contemporary science in Chinese museums as a reflection of science in society. In A. Boyle, & J.-G. Hagmann (Eds.), Challenging collections: approaches to the…

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Schäfer, D. (2017). Knowledge by design - architecture and Jade models during the Qianlong 乾隆 reign (1735–1796). In M. Valleriani (Ed.), The structures of practical knowledge (pp. 271-286). Cham: Springer.

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Schäfer, D. (2017). China und Japan. In M. Sommer, S. Müller-Wille, & C. Reinhardt (Eds.), Handbuch Wissenschaftsgeschichte (pp. 166-177). Stuttgart: Metzler.

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Schäfer, D. (2017). Science in the pre-modern East. In I. R. Morus (Ed.), The Oxford illustrated history of science (pp. 108-142). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Events

Colloquium

Thematic Cluster: Crafts and Innovation

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Workshop

Ownership of Knowledge: Appropriation in Art & Technology

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Reading Group

Thinking in Many Tongues: Lexicography

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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