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Dr Hansun Hsiung

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures+44 (0) 191 33 42414
Member of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 


Hansun Hsiung combines methods from media history, book history, and the history of science to address fundamental problems in the global history of knowledge. His research to date has centered on the construction of "communicability," in particular tracing the transformation of print networks between Japan and western Europe, ca. 1750-1900. In addition to a book manuscript, Learn Anything!: Cheap Print and the Diffusion of Western Knowledge, he is at work editing a special issue of the Journal for the History of Knowledge on the epistemic implications of temporal entanglements; a special issue of Nuncius on intersensoriality and gender in the sciences; and a volume on the role of "compression" as a virtue in communications and information management systems. He is also working on a second monograph project on the prehistory of long-distance image transmission, rethinking the genealogy of tele-vision before the advent of contemporary televisual technologies. Articles on other various topics -- including amorous matchmaking in the social sciences, scientific 'popularization' in a global context, and breast cancer surgery in early modern Japan, have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as IsisOsiris, PMLA, and Contemporary Japan. Prior to his arrival at Durham, he was a postdoctoral fellow in Department II of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and a visiting lecturer in the Department of Music and Media Studies at Humboldt University (Berlin). His research has received support from the American Historical Association, the Association for Asian Studies, the Fulbright Program, and the Mellon Foundation.

Research interests

  • history of science
  • global history
  • history of the book
  • media studies
  • history of medicine
  • history of technology

Esteem Indicators

  • 2000: Senior Fellow, Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography: Chair of Selection Committee; Member of Diversity & Outreach Committee


Book review

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)