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22 July 2022 - 23 July 2022

9:00AM - 7:00PM

Grey College, Durham

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Project Description

This project will focus on the complex cultural connections between Japanese and British science in the nineteenth-century during a period when intellectuals around the globe began to interact more intensively due to increased opportunities to travel and the growth in translations of important scientific works into many languages.  This was also an era when, in the latter part of the century, Japanese intellectuals were searching for ways to modernize their culture, while in Britain there was a renewed interest in Japanese culture and religion as traditional forms of thought were being questioned.  Although there has been some excellent scholarly work on the impact of British evolutionary theory on Japanese intellectuals, the fuller picture of cultural exchange across all the sciences has yet to be undertaken. This project will begin to close this historiographical gap by examining the intersection of nineteenth-century Japanese and British science across a range of disciplines from mathematics and physics to ornithology and anthropology. The project is interested in such questions as: Where, when, and how did nineteenth-century figures engage with scientific ideas and where, when, and how did they communicate their ideas on the larger cultural meaning of modern science? How did Japanese and British figures appropriate ideas from each other’s culture?  How did these ideas shape their conceptions of each other’s culture as well as their conception of their own culture?  

There is a planned scholarly workshop in July 2022, hosted by the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies International, Durham University. Full details of this event and the call for papers can be found below.

Call For Papers

Online Workshop on ‘Transnational Studies of 19th-Century Japanese and British Science,’

July 22-23, 2022, Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies International at Durham University

We seek proposals for scholarly presentations in the form of ten-minute ‘lightning talks,’ that explore the complex cultural connections between Japanese and British science in the 19th century. This was a period when intellectuals around the globe began to interact more intensively due to increased opportunities to travel and due to the growth in translations of important scientific works into many languages. Japanese intellectuals were searching for ways to modernize their culture, while in Britain there was a renewed interest in Japanese culture as traditional forms of thought were being interrogated.

In addition to the open call, we have six invited speakers who will deliver longer talks that examine a range of scientific disciplines including chemistry, mathematics, ornithology, evolutionary biology, and anthropology.

Confirmed speakers:

Bernard Lightman (York University, Canada)

Tomoko Kitagawa (University of Oxford & Science Museum Group)

Efram Sera-Shriar (Durham University)

Yoshiyuki Kikuchi (Aichi Prefectural University, Japan)

Nathan Bossoh (University College London)

Russelle Meade (Cardiff University)

While the confirmed speakers will integrate Japanese and British perspectives by focusing on British figures who encountered Japan from a scientific perspective and Japanese intellectuals who engaged with British science, we welcome proposals dealing with the following questions: How did Japanese and British figures appropriate ideas from each other’s culture?  How did these ideas shape their conceptions of each other’s culture as well as their conception of their own culture? Where, when, and how did Japanese and British figures engage with scientific ideas in these two contexts, and where, when, and how did they communicate their ideas on the larger cultural meaning of modern science?

Proposals should include a 200-word abstract and a one-paragraph biography.  We will select up to ten papers on this topic for the workshop.  All presentations will be recorded and shared at the workshop. The due date for proposals is: 15 March 2022. 

We strongly encourage the use of visual materials for these presentations because it is typically much more difficult to engage an audience purely by speaking without visual aids online via Zoom.

Please send your proposals as PDF attachments to Dr. Sera-Shriar at: efram.sera-shriar@durham.ac.uk.

This conference is supported by the Daiwa Foundation, York Centre for Asian Research, and the  Department of Humanities, York University.

Pricing

Free