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May 25th, 2018

SHOT-IHNS-CNSM Workshop Hangzhou: Craft and Innovation in Modern Societies

Hangzhou, 1-3 June 2018

Following on a highly successful SHOT-sponsored workshop on Craft and innovation held in Chennai, India in 2016, this workshop on Craft and innovation in modern societies, co-sponsored by China’s national Institute for the History of Natural Sciences (IHNS), the China National Silk Museum (CNSM) and the international Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), has a two-fold aim. The first is to explore the crucial but often underestimated role of craft and craft skills in shaping technological processes of modernisation and industrialisation in the two largest Asian nations, China and India. The second is to reflect upon the relations between craft and innovation in those societies today, in the context of national concerns with heritage and conservation, with creativity and design, and with maintenance, sustainability and social equity.

The Hangzhou workshop will bring a comparative perspective to these issues, organised around the contrasting experiences of China and India and focusing on two technological domains key to the industrialisation and contemporary development of both nations, namely textiles and construction (architecture and machines). We bring together about 20 participants, from China, India and elsewhere, to attend and to contribute as experts in these fields and/or as general experts in the field of history of technology. We hope that the workshop, and the connections it creates, will (1) foster new transnational research links and collaborations, (2) promote non-eurocentric South-South comparative history of technology, (3) generate a productive cross-disciplinary exchange on methodology, and (4) eventually lead to the publication of a comparative volume on craft, technology and innovation in modern China and India.

The workshop is sponsored by SHOT (Small Grants)

Download the poster here.

Download the program here.

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