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2016-2017 Francesca Bray

Francesca Bray


Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh. President of the International Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) 2015-16

"Hail the Maintainers: Rethinking Technology in Chinese History."

As mainstream history of technology shifts its focus from innovation and the teleologies of modernity to maintenance and meaning, in her Hu Shih Lecture “Hail the maintainers”: rethinking technology in Chinese history, Professor Bray discusses the attractive opportunities both for re-embedding technology into Chinese history, and for re-embedding China into the history of technology.  

Professor Bray also gave a talk entitled "Of Turnips and Apricots: Livelihood and Lifestyle in the Northern Wei as Seen through the Agricultural Treatise Qímín Yàoshù 齊民要術" to the Cornell Classical Chinese Colloquium, a group of faculty and students who meet monthly to discuss classical Chinese texts.

Francesca Bray is a historian and anthropologist of technology, science, and medicine. She has worked at the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara, and is now Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. In 2015-16 Dr Bray was President of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) and as Past President she continues to work towards making SHOT and the mainstream, US-centred history of technology that the organization represents more truly international, not just socially but also intellectually.