The Newberry Library Seminar on Technology, Politics, and Culture
Co-Sponsored by the History Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Roosevelt University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University's School of Communications
Friday, November 18, 2005, 3:30-5:00pm
The Newberry Library
Negotiating Technology: River Masters, Steamboat Entrepreneurs and the State in Southeastern China, 1927-1933
Grant Alger, University of Pennsylvania
This paper studies how local communities and the state in China grappled with the shift from indigenous technology to steam technology within the river transport trade during the early twentieth century. Focusing upon the Min River in the southeastern province of Fujian when the Nationalist government was still struggling to centralize its authority in China, I will discuss how the influx of new technologies complicated the relationship between society and the state in this region by thrusting the local government into a new role as a mediator between different technology-based interest groups. I also analyze how in their attempts to gain state support for their cause, both sides in the conflict between sail and steam put to divergent use various notions of progress, tradition, livelihood and Sun Yat-sen thought.
All papers are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Ginger Shulick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312.255.3524.
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