Professor Naomi Standen -Bottoms up: three shipwrecks for a global history of everyday creativity in Eastern Eurasia, 7th-14th centuries
25 January 2023 - 25 January 2023
3:00PM - 5:00PM
In person at the Pemberton Rooms - PG21
We welcome Professor Naomi Standen to the History Department Research Seminar with her talk ' Bottoms up: three shipwrecks for a global history of everyday creativity in Eastern Eurasia, 7th-14th centuries'
Bottoms up: three shipwrecks for a global history of everyday creativity in Eastern Eurasia, 7th-14th centuries
Analyses of premodern Eastern Eurasia are far too nation-based, China-centred and top-down. As a response and experiment, I am writing a book about technologies in the region: the practices and ideas by which people got things done over nearly eight centuries. The book develops selected case histories to show how a great deal of human labour combined with often anonymous choices to generate innovation, evolution or longterm retention of practices, at far more granular levels than empires, states, or peoples. I further seek to trace some ways in which people connected, or not, on the basis of things that actually mattered to them, such as buying and selling, or building and making things. In this paper I take technologies of movement – specifically oceangoing ships active in the South Seas – as cases through which to consider everyday creativity and interactions. I hope this may be one path towards a non-sinocentric and more demotic analysis.