Early China Seminar Lecture Series
Title: “Collecting and Disseminating Technical Knowledge”
Speaker: Rens Krijgsman, Tsinghua University
Time: November 19, 2021 (8:00-10:00 AM EST)
The event will be held via Zoom. Please click on “Request Pre-circulated Paper” to register for the event.
This paper analyses technical collections for traces of selection processes and how they were used. These collections gradually shifted from individual records and short collections of methods and techniques by named experts, to larger collections of knowledge and technique in the abstract, open to a large swathe of the population without the mediation of experts. The selections made by users of these collections reveal their specific interests and the problems they faced in daily life, providing valuable social insights into the (re-)use of collections more generally. In particular, this talk focuses on collections used as manuals such as the Shanghai Museum Bushu; collections for storage and reference such as the Tsinghua Zhuci and the Beida Qin slips; mobile prayer collections such as the Daoci and Zhuci zhi dao; and finally some daybook related collections revealing aspects of personal and daily life in the early Empires, such as those from Zhoujiazhai and Yueshan.