The Kernel of Innovation: A History of Wheat Variety Changes in Rural Shaanxi, 1930-1980


Luce/ACLS Travel Grants in China Studies




A staple food in North China, wheat has fed more than one-third of the Chinese population. Since the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, China’s increasing control over the selection and breeding of wheat varieties went in tandem with the intensified state control over society. Focusing on wheat variety changes in Shaanxi, “The Kernel of Innovation” reveals the fundamental dynamics underlying innovation in agricultural science and technology and the social and environmental consequences in modern China. This project advances the understanding of science and technological studies and agricultural history by offering a fresh perspective on technological innovation.