Category Archives: Lecture Series

Chinese-European Lecture Series 2024

Crafting Legacy: Tracing the Threads of Traditional Craftsmanship

The making of things to fulfill daily and luxury needs is probably as old as mankind. However, it was only the emergence of industrial mass production that led to the separation between craft object and machine-made object and thus the concept of traditional craftsmanship in contrast to the former came into play. This has by no means led to the frequently invoked death of the traditional crafts though. Craftsmanship, in the sense of unique skills and specialized knowledge through which materials are manipulated, is a universal testament to human ingenuity and cultural heritage that transcends temporal and geographical boundaries. This lecture series delves deep into the heart of traditional craftsmanship, spotlighting questions of knowledge transmission and the pivotal role of networks in sustaining and developing these practices.

Through a panoramic exploration spanning continents and centuries, the lecture series puts the focus on the intricate web of relationships that facilitate the passage of practical knowledge—from master to apprentice, across familial ties, and through vibrant professional networks.

Central to this exploration are the multifaceted networks that underpin traditional craftsmanship: (1) Geographically, how did trade routes and cultural exchanges facilitate the spread of techniques and materials? How did geographical networks shape the evolution of craftsmanship within specific regions, and how did they interact with distant cultures through trade and migration? What role did trade routes and cultural exchanges play in shaping techniques and styles? (2) Interpersonally, how did personal networks within communities foster collaboration and skill-sharing among artisans? How did informal apprenticeships and community networks nurture the growth of traditional crafts? How did the personal networks of artisans intersect with broader institutional frameworks? (3) Institutionally, what institutional structures, such as guilds and workshops, provided support and regulation for craftsmen? How did these institutions and their roles evolve over time?

Yet, amid this rich tapestry of knowledge transmission, lies the elusive challenge of studying tacit knowledge among non-elite artisans. How do we capture and study the nuances of skills passed down through generations, frequently undocumented and deeply ingrained in embodied practices? This lecture series grapples with this dilemma, exploring methodologies and approaches to uncover the practical knowledge embedded within traditional crafts.

We also invite lectures to explore the continuing role and resilience of traditional craftsmanship in the face of modernization and globalization in the present time. What role play cultural initiatives, grassroots movements and digital platforms in the transmission and revitalization of knowledge in the traditional crafts?

The series aims at bringing together approaches from various disciplines exploiting a vast array of sources, including archaeological findings, historical texts, material objects and ethnographic insights, in order to illuminate the socio-economic dynamics that underpin the dissemination of non-elite knowledge.

工艺传承——追寻传统工艺的脉络

制作物品以满足日常或奢华需求的历史或许从人类的诞生那一刻开始就相伴而生了。然而,工业化大规模生产的出现才导致了手工艺品和机器制造品的分离,从而也就产生了与工业化生产相对应的传统手工艺概念。而且,这也没有导致人们经常提到的传统手工艺的消亡。从利用材料的独特技能和专业知识方面讲,手工艺是人类智慧和文化遗产的普遍成果之一,它超越了时间和地域的限制。本年度讲座将深入探讨传统工艺的核心问题,重点关注知识的传播以及网络在维持和发展这些应用中起到的作用。

通过跨越各大洲和数个世纪的全景式探索,本年度系列重点放在促进实用知识传播的错综复杂的关系网上:从师傅到学徒,跨越家族的纽带,并通过富有活力的职业关系网。

这个探索的核心在于探索支撑传统手工艺的多方面网络:(1)地理因素,贸易路线和文化交流怎样促进技术和材料的传播?地理网路如何影响特定地区的手工艺演变的?地理网络如何使得相距甚远的文化之间如何通过贸易和移民联系在一起的?贸易路线和文化交流对技术和风格样式的形成起到什么作用?(2)人际交往,社群内的人际网络是怎样促进工匠间的合作和技能共享的?非正式学徒制和社群网络如何促进了传统手工艺的发展?手工艺人的个人网络和更广泛的制度网络是如何交织的?(3)制度方面,哪些制度结构,例如行会和作坊,为手工艺人提供支持或实施监督?随着时间的推移,这些机制及其作用是如何演变的?

然而,在这些丰富的知识和技能传承过程中,研究作为非精英人群的手工艺人的隐性知识却面临着无法预估的挑战。我们如何捕捉和研究这些世代相传中的知识与技能的细微差别?这些技能往往没有文献记载,而是深深地扎根于具体实践中。本系列讲座将努力解决这一问题,讨论探索传统手工艺中蕴含的知识技能的方法和路径。

我们还将邀请学者探讨传统手工艺在当今现代化和全球化浪潮中的持续作用和生命力。探讨文化倡议、基层运动和数字化平台在传统工艺的传承和复兴中发挥的作用。

该系列的目标还包括汇集各个学科的研究方法,利用考古发现、历史文献、实体文物、人类学田野调查等,阐明非精英知识传承所依赖的社会和经济条件。

Chinese-European Lecture Series 2021/2022

Agriculture and the Making of Sciences (1100–1700)

This year’s lecture series is a collaboration between the European Research Centre for Chinese Studies, the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

Hitherto historians of science tend to examine pre-modern agriculture in extra-European traditions from the perspective of modern agronomy retrospectively, often within a single ethno-linguistic context. In this set of seminars, speakers aim at reversing this approach by exploring how agricultural practices informed the emergent discrete scholarly categories and epistemic genres in disparate cultural and literary traditions. Presenters focus on particular traditions of knowledge in their own terms, both in their cultural context and as emerging languages of authority, while being mindful of the cross-cultural and longue durée interplay between different fields and traditions of knowledge. They examine how everyday agricultural practices and material actions shaped these categories in particular, and knowledge cultures in general, to address some key questions.

  1. How were diverse forms of knowledge that did not conveniently fit into the discrete scholarly categories and epistemic agendas of their respective times negotiated, (re-)articulated and denounced?
  2. What are the practices and strategies of claiming authority?
  3. What are the resources, networks, and institutions behind the emergence of new categories?

农业与近代科学的起源(11001700年)

本系列讲座由欧洲汉学研究中心、中国科学院自然科学史研究所与马克斯·普朗克科学史研究所合作举办。

迄今,科学史学者在检视欧洲以外的前近代农业时,往往从现代“农学”的既定框架中回顾,其视野也仅限于单一语言文化的史料。本系列研讨会邀请的发言人致力于倒转这种视角,探索在不同文化和文字传统中,农业实践如何影响、导致了近代以前诸多“学问”的诞生。发言者们专注于将特定知识传统置于其本身的文化和知识语境中,考察其如何构成一种权威的话语,同时也留心各种不同的知识领域与传统之间跨文化和长时段的互相影响。通过考察日常农业实践如何形塑各种学问及其背后的知识文化,本研讨会关心以下核心问题:

  1. 在其各自时代无法轻易归入各种知识门类的知识形式是如何被协商、重新阐释或舍弃的?
  2. 知识的权威性是如何构建的?
  3. 新的学问门类的出现,其背后是怎样的制度、资源和关系网络?