Things and affairs is the expression I use to pinpoint the peculiar way the seventeenth century Chinese scholar Song Yingxing (1587-1666?) approached natural things and phenomena, material objects, working processes, textual sources, men, heaven. Song himself analyzed his surrounding along the lines of Yijing permutation studies and influenced by Ming dynastic state orthodox ideals that held the official responsible for morality and order. His major concern was to reveal the true principles and patterns evident in “the inception of things and accomplishment of affairs” [...]


About Dagmar

Dagmar Schäfer

Dagmar Schäfer is Professor for Chinese Studies. Before joining the University of Manchester she headed the research group “Concepts and Modalities: Practical Knowledge Transmission” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. Trained at the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg, she gained international experience at the Zhejiang University, PR China, the Ts’ing-hua University, Hs’in-ch’u, Taiwan, and the University of Pennsylvania. [...]



Technology as both a topic and an analytical category stands at the heart of my research work. Chinese culture is in my focus when I investigate the varied concepts and modalities that shaped the production of knowledge about nature and material inventiveness. I source texts, matter and materials as evidence and instruments of "epistemic cultures“, to fashion new apparatus for the methodological tool-box of the history of science. [...]


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Visual Narrarives

Surreal, clear and pragmatic were the worlds, Chinese cartoonists sketched in the 1930s. >>>


Chinese language at the University of Manchester
Centre for Chinese Studies

Science and Technology History - Research
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Needham Research Institute

Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, CAS