From Craft to Statecraft: Knowledge Production, Transmission, and the Rise of Technocratic Culture in Qing China


Luce/ACLS Early Career Fellowships in China Studies – Long-Term




My book discusses the connection between knowledge and power in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries through the lens of tin. Drawing on court memorials, mining treatises, archives of East Indian Companies, as well as museum collections, I track the itinerary of tin in the Qing empire and across the South China sea to examine how global trade and imperial expansion affected the knowledge production and transmission across regional boundaries. Moreover, I investigate how knowledge of mining, metalworking, and trade was transferred from miners, artisans, and merchants into the knowledge system of Qing bureaucrats, changing the culture of statecraft in Qing China from 1700 to 1850s. Broadly speaking, my book contributes to the understanding of technology and global empires.